Sound — 10
This album is a complete 180-degree turnaround from Refused. They had released some previous albums of a more straightforward, hardcore punk style. Then, all of a sudden, this masterpiece comes along and surprises (and scares) the hell out of everyone. How to describe it? It's like someone took hardcore punk and threw it in a blender with jazz, classical, folk, and every other genre imaginable. The title comes from the title of an Ornette Coleman album, "The Shape of Jazz to Come." I've never heard anything like it and I don't think I ever will again (this band broke up after making this album).
Lyrics — 10
This band is from Sweden, which has a socialist democratic government. Thus, many of the lyrics are speaking out against oppression, racism, and capitalism. So, if you're not into that sort of thing, you might want to steer clear. But the lyrics are the sort of stuff that punk is all about, so there's nothing that could fit better. The lead vocalist, Dennis Lyxzen, moves from singing in a bittersweet falsetto to screaming like a banshee on acid. His mannerisms and inflections become familiar after just a few listens.
Overall Impression — 10
This album holds a special place in my heart because it marks my change from popular music to punk. When I first hear this album, I was a freshman in high school, trying too hard to fit in and worrying far too much about what other people thought. When the sounds on this disc passed my eardrums, I went through a transformation. Needless to say, I think it is the greatest 55 minutes of sound in the history of modern music. There aren't really any standout tracks because the album flows together as a whole so well.