Sound — 9
Sum 41? The first that would have popped into your head about 2 years ago would have been pop-punk, maybe a little bit of Punk Rock mixed in. Now? The sound has evolved into a lot more metal-like sound, with much heavier distortion, more screaming, harder drumming, and some amazing solos. 01. Intro - some nice guitaring and improvising, and a perfect lead-up to the 2nd track. 02. No Reason - the screaming at the start kind of surprises you, but still an amazing track with some punk mixed here and there. Nice back-up vocals by Dave. 03. We're All To Blame - the 1st single off the album, and a great song. From the metal sound with the shouting in the verse and bridge to the melodic vocals and tune in the Chorus, this song compliments itself perfectly. 04. Angels With Dirty Faces - quiet intro, with Deryck's muttering the lyrics softly, but the song picks up well. 05. Some Say - one of the best songs of the album, with some lovely lyrics. One of the only songs that could have fitted in previous albums. 06. The Bitter End - great song, with the best solo I've heard. Deryck's singing and screaming in this song sounds a lot more refined. 07. Open Your Eyes - one of the best tracks, with great speedy drumming, great melody in the chorus, and some grooving bass as well. 08. Slipping Away - Sum 41 show their softer side. From the acoustic guitar in the start, the louder drums in the middle, to the string orchestra in the end, this track is a gem in the album. 09. I'm Not The One - great intro, but that's about it. Deryck screams a bit too much in this one, and the bridge is ripped off some Linkin Park song. 10. Welcome To Hell - the structure resembles 'Welcome To Paradise' of Green Day, and it's a great song. Nice bass solos and drums in this one. 11. Pieces - the standout of this album, with some great melodic singing, and a perfect solo for the song. Sum 41 cuts the distortion a bit on this one. 12. There's No Solution - another Linkin Park-ish song, but I like the structure and the melodies of the verse mixing with the chorus in the end. 13. 88 - the best end Sum could have ever hoped for. Another great solo, some great singing in the first verse, and some lovely piano and feedback at the end.
Lyrics — 8
Deryck's lyrics get a bit repetitive; I must have heard the words 'fake it' and 'to blame' at least 6-7 times in this album. He makes up for it with some good singing. He ought to cut down on the screaming a bit, and I would give him 10. Dave and Cone back him up with some great vocals.
Overall Impression — 9
I wouldn't like an album as heavy as this one normally, but after 'Does This Look Infected', which was also pretty heavy, I like this new Sum 41 sound a lot. Musically, this is their best album. At last, Sum 41 are showcasing all of their unique talent. I love the solos and the singing in this album, added to the amazing drumming of Stevo. What I dislike is that nearly all the songs are about the same thing; We don't need the control, we'll manage on our own. Punky topic, I guess, but it gets a bit monotonous. Best tracks: We're All To Blame, Open Your Eyes, Slipping Away, Pieces and 88. If it was lost or stolen, I would definately buy it again.