Sound — 10
Reel Big Fish, in my opinion, are a sorely under-rated group of genuinely talented musicians, who manage to sucessfully fuse together a wide genre of music, and make songs which are catchy to listen to, and yet still sound unique. The frontman/main guitarist Aaron writes catchy hooks, and unlike most guitar players in his genre, can pull off a few tasty lead guitar licks. "Rock n Roll is Bitchin'" - despite being a cheap shot at stadium rock, still comes off as a good song, mainly because of Aaron's lead guitar work. The brass section is used less in this album than some of Reel Big Fish's other albums (more emphasis has been put on writing memorable melodies), but when they are used, really help to give their material an edge. To describe Reel Big Fish's sound, think of a mix of Pop, Punk, Rock, Ska and Reggae. Key songs on this album-although I thoroughly enjoy them all-are the single "Where Have You Been", "Brand New Hero", the title track "Cheer Up", and my favourite song, the reggae-esque, up-beat sound of "What Are Friends For".
Lyrics — 8
The use of two vocalists helps to keep the album interesting at all times, and both vocalists are more than capable singers. The harmonies sound sweet between both singers, and the melodies are well written-if not a little predictable at times. The lyrics on this album are sound, not ground breaking, but are above average in their genre. The joke songs are mildly amusing, and help to deliver a more serious album to a wider audience, as well as showing off their funnier aspects of their personalities. The main themes of this album-as far as I can tell-are bitterness to do with love and friendship. Although these themes have been touched on previously by far too many bands, Reel Big Fish still manage to deliver their songs and keep them fresh.
Overall Impression — 10
This has to be one of my favourite albums at the moment, and probably will be for a while. As I previously said, Reel Big Fish are an under-rated band, and possibly one of the best bands in their genre of music. Although some of the album is predictable, and less brass is used, Reel Big Fish have made a genuinely good album, and I wait with great anticipation for their next delivery. Lets see if they can top "Cheer Up".