Sound — 4
Similar in sound to the softer songs off 14 Shades Of Grey, Break The Cycle, this album has steered away from the more 'meaty' guitar riffs and thrown in a couple of decent solos. In my opinion the sound has become a generica, all the songs are painfully similar, and often the guitar just doesn't fit the vocals. The backup vocals are often off key i.e. "You Didn't Get It." What happened to songs like "Yesterday" and "Mudshovel" where you could feel them?
Lyrics — 6
No one can knock Lewis' work here, he is an excellent writer and an excellent singer. I just wish he'd opened up on this album like in dysfunction. In Chapter V, it sounds to me as if the guitars were done in a seperate room when the lyrics were written. There's just no feeling, it's as if he's simply talking over the music, not singing with it. Imagine "Blow Away" or "Home" without the power in the chorus, and spoken rather than sung.
Overall Impression — 4
I love Staind, I bought this the day it came out, with the hope that they had gone back into heavier direction of tormented and dsyfunction, but with more class, power, and a clear message like in Break The Cycle. I was actually pretty upset when I listened to this CD, and it wasnt because I was connecting with the music.