Sound — 8
Seven Mary Three are a band best know for their previous #1 Rock radio hit single Cumbersome from their platinum selling debut album American Standard. The fact that Cumbersome still receives more than 500 spins per week on the radio waves says something about the bands songwriting ability. 7M3's seventh album sees them on new independent label Bellum Records. For people who haven't kept up with 7M3's musical progression since their debut album, you may be in for a shock as the band that once sounded like a grungy Nickelback, or an earlier Pearl Jam, have smoothened and mellowed out their sound. Day&nightdriving is an album that proudly wears the band's musical experience on its sleeve (for the less educated of you, I don't mean literally on the album sleeve. It's an expression). The album opens with current single Last Kiss, which is the epitome of a perfect alt-rock track complete with calm intro and catchy chorus. From then onwards, the album completely takes your breath away. The varieties of pace with which the tracks carry the album are perfectly balanced in that they all flow together nicely from the happy upbeat tempo of Dreaming against Me to the thoughtful, moodiness of Hammer & A Stone to the warm summer-sounding country song Upside Down. Day&nightdriving is an album perfect for any mood, any time, any day.
Lyrics — 8
You can easily tell that all the lyrics on Day&nightdriving were written from personal experience and have come straight from the heart. The lyrical content is by no means groundbreaking as they range from love to facing your regrets. But the fact that Jason Ross, the band vocalist and songwriter, is singing about such trivial issues makes it easier for everyone to relate to the songs. On She Wants Results, Ross sings: Lay me down tonight; with your broken heart; Baby wants results; or a new start The great thing about Ross' songwriting is that his lyrics are somewhat vague. Take this however you may, but this without doubt helps expand the range to which people can relate to the songs. Closing track Things I Stole contains the heartfelt self-criticizing, self-doubting lyrics of Sing one for tomorrow; One for the way we were; Once for things I borrowed; One for the things that I stole from her; Does baby love me the way that she says she does? Not only are the lyrics written well, but they main consistently well written throughout the album which makes it oh-so much harder to pick a favorite song.
Overall Impression — 9
Seven Mary Three have produced an album to be proud of. It has taken them seven albums to reach this point, from the highs of their successful debut to the lows of their previous album Dis/Location. They have clearly progressed as musicians and songwriters from their start in 1992. From the strong start of Last Kiss to the slow soulfulness of Strangely At Home Here, 7M3 are a band who have progressed forward with time, rather than living in the past and sticking with the same formula that won them their hit tunes Cumbersome and Over Your Shoulder. This is an album that deserves no less than an A*, something I should've earned on my Biology exam if it weren't for a broken pencil and a blind teacher.