Sound — 8
Ladies and gentlemen I suggest you to make yourself comfortable -- get some beer and take delight in listening to the record. Here is a great new album Chuck from canadian band Sum 41. The guys completely revised their previous creation and now we have absolutely contradictory set of the tracks: along with the customary pop-punk direction of the sounding, Sum 41 tried to introduce a lot of innovations and experiments to the record -- from the britpop-like song "Some Say" and smooth "Slipping Away" to the alternative metal "There's No Solution" and agressive trash tune of "The Bitter End." Because of this, Sum 41 moved away from boring and common mainstream's pop-punk patterns and that allowed them to advance their music. If Sum 41 of "All Killer, No Filler" era was filled with smirking anthems for teenage audience, "Chuck" could expect a few above-average listeners. Of course, it's a commendable undertaking to refuse the musical uniformity and widen the range of own music styles but it's necessary to be careful to avoid the obvious similarity. For example "Some Say" resembles Oasis' "Wonderwall" and "The Bitter End" is short-cut and slightly changed Metallica's "Battery." Probably it's a firm Sum 41's joke -- intention to perform the old songs in the new way? I don't get it. As to the richness of the positive energy and fervour, this album is worth the top marks for all the characteristics -- it's racy and catchy all the way! It has both clean acoustic songs and the heavier stuff; good ol' punk and (almost) pure rock tunes with solos (the most impressive on is featured on "The Bitter End"). The last track "88" is the essence of the whole album -- it mixes up all the aforementioned styles -- a great report of a perfectly done work. The musician skills of Sum 41 worth our special attention. Still keeping the major part of their music at the pop-punk point, the diversity of musical arrangements is wealthy and saturated with different effects and samples. Having the fast guitars and impressive drums, "Chuck" features crashing and grinding metal riffs and this is the most noticeable difference from their previous releases.
Lyrics — 8
In comparison with the sound, a lyrical side of the album is more poor. This is the problem of all the musicians who devote most their attention to the sound -- "Chuck" isn't an exclusion. For the most part, lyrics are mysterious but nonsensical. Though the singer skills of Deryck Whibley and the band as a whole are amazing. Through the listening to this album you can meet both melodic and placid singing and strident screaming. And of course there are a lot of choral singing as the inherent attribute af pop-punk and alikes. All in all -- with that lyrics "Chuck" will never make you to fall into depression.
Overall Impression — 8
At the end I want to note the fact that this album is dedicated to the United Nations volunteer Chuck Pelletier who saved the lives of Sum 41 in Democratic Republic of the Congo -- in June 2004, Sum 41 was there filming a documentary for charity when they found themselves caught in the midst of the country's ongoing hostilities. But Chuck was instrumental in getting the band to safety, and a grateful Sum 41 named their fourth album in his honor. It's showed also by the artwork of "Chuck" -- there is a small poster with military themes and words of gratitude. As to the content directly this is a really worthy record with absolutely harmonious and professional work of the musicians. These guys really make the community to reappraise the mainstream tendencies. It's too important to amaze the audience with something new renouncing from the likeness of the millions of clones. And Sum 41 achieved that. "Chuck," without any doubts, worth your attention.