Sound — 9
This is probably one the most solid sounding Rise Against albums. It definitely shows the middle of Rise Against's transition from Hardcore to a more mainstream music. The recording is clean and very good, not any rough patches as for that. The guitar is mostly power chords and octaves, but it is certainly not a 3 chord album. The solo's that are in their respective tracks match the songs well, and are well voiced over the rest of the band.
Lyrics — 10
01. State of the Union: this opening track can be misleading to people who first put this album in. This is an rage filled track is an all out attack on the government
02. The First Drop: this second track is well written up beat song, the lyrics tell a definite story with well thought out metaphor
03. A Life Less Frightening: this track is similar in tonality to the previous track and complements it nicely.
04. Paper Wings: this song changes the gear a little bit, its heavier and has more of trade mark lyrical imagery of Rise Against.
05. Blood to Bleed: this bass infused melody is very powerful reflecting the pain of the story of this love song.
06. To Them These Streets Belong: this pulse pounding song shows the wrong inside the speaker as his "hands are soaking in the blood of angels"
07. Tip the Scales: distorted guitar and empowering vocals remind us that there is only one life to live, and that you life should not be lived in vain
08. Anywhere But Here: this song offers a solution to the previous song, that if there is a waste of time in your life go "anywhere but here".
09. Give It All: another song that does provide an exception to the idea of the previous two, that there are things worth giving it all for.
10. Dancing for Rain: this unique track features a classical style intro and bridge section, making it very fun to listen to. The "Rain" is possibly a metaphor for the use of fossil fuels as "We point the finger, never accept the blame" even though we've run out of "water"
11. Swing Life Away: potentially the most popular of all Rise Against songs for its beautiful acoustic guitar and pleasant lyrics. This song is mostly about "making the best out of the worst"
12. Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated: a song about how you should not be so afraid of death that you forget to live.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is probably my favorite of the all of Rise Against's albums because of its variety in tracks and power of the lyrics. Not to mention that Tim, Chris, Joe, and Brandon were together the longest out of all of the ranks of Rise Against. Definatly worth buying and I would buy it again if I had to.