Sound — 9
It's been three long years since Saosin released their amazing self-titled album back in 2006, and the wait is finally over. The California quintet return with "In Search of Solid Ground", with over 13 songs clocking in at almost an hour. With this release, the band used over five producers, including Butch Walker (Marvelous 3), and shows that Saosin have kept their original post-hardcore sound, while expanding their horizons at the same time. Some tracks showcase the band exactly as they always were, like the tracks "On My Own" and "Is This Real". Other songs like "I Keep My Secrets Safe" even sound like a screamo version of old U2 mixed with Coheed and Cambria. While sticking to their original sound throughout "In Search of Solid Ground", the only track that may shock a few fans is the album's closer, the eight-minute long love song/power ballad with some of the best bass and drums featured on the record. Overall, this is Saosin trying to broaden their horizons, and it's working.
Lyrics — 9
Cove Reber once again outdoes himself on "In Search of Solid Ground", with his amazing vocal range adding more depth to all the songs on the record. He has the ability to write and sing perfectly with the mood of the song. While each song has it's moments, the best singing and lyrics are without a doubt during "The Alarming Sound of A Still Small Voice", where Cove reaches deep and sings "Why don't you wake up?" with the most emotion heard from any band of their style in years. The soaring melodies mixed in with the guitars make Cove Reber's performance on "In Search of Solid Ground" a strong contender for the best vocal performance of the year.
Overall Impression — 9
Saosin have created the perfect album to follow their self-titled back in 2006. They've shed a bit of their angst, and picked up a ton of rock influences in the last three years which will keep the old fans begging for more and will gain Saosin a ton of new fans. While it may not be better than "Saosin", it's definately its equal and is right up their on the list of best albums of 2009.