Sound — 8
Sum 41 returns with their latest CD Underclass Hero, and this time they've decided to divert from the direction of "Chuck" and "Does this Look Infected", and go back to their pop-punk roots. It's an extremely well done CD with a very familiar sound, and it shows the Sum 41 we know and love, back from the glory days of All Killer No Filler. However, as a bit of a stab against them, it does seem to get a tad repetitive with the overall sound, and it really reminds me of one of Blink 182's albums, who, as fate would have it, also had a very repetitive sound. Regardless, it's a fun album, and a very serious album at the same time, touching on things like Dave's quitting the band (So Long, Goodbye), Deryck's absentee father (Dear Father, Walking Disaster), and even a bit of a stab at the white house, namely Bush (March of the Dogs, The Jester, King of Contradiction, Confusion and Frustration in Modern Times). This album is a positive step into the face of Sum 41, and it's a welcome return to the old Sum 41. Though, I'm really not too concerned with the sound being too familiar throughout the songs. Honestly, it's an issue pretty much every band faces, and it's how I familiarize myself with different bands. So I'm not marking them down too badly for that. Though I do have to note, that the technical side of the album is a little lacking this time round. With Dave gone, there's no more bitchin' guitar solos, and the sound overall, is dissapointingly simple. Stevo's still got the drums ablazin', and Deryck's voice is still killer, but without Dave, it definately felt like there was a big peice missing in the album overall.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics of this CD are possibly the best they've been. Wonderfully well written, deep, and really powerful. However, I DO have to point out that the chorus of their first single, "Underclass Hero" is taken from a bonus track off of Chuck (Subject to Change). That was unfortunate, 'cause that was one of my favourite songs off of Chuck, so when I first heard "Underclass Hero" I kinda dreaded what the rest of the album would turn out like. 'Cause It does also sound almost exactly like what you'd get if you mixed "Subject to Change" and "Fat Lip" into one song. It was, however, a small impact on the rest of the CD, and once I got the chance to hear the rest of the album, I was relieved to find out that the rest of the songs, especially "March of the Dogs," and "Count your Last Blessings," were written much better than the dissapointment that the title track managed to be. Overall, the lyrics were Extremely impressive, and, aside from the reuse of a chorus, the lyrics on Underclass Hero were still well done, nonetheless. The song, "Ma Poubelle" (Which means My Trashcan) is sung all in French, and (aside from the translation being hilarious) shows the lighter side of Sum 41, while most of the rest of the album is more serious this time round, lyric-wise. Definately well-written, and it shows Sum 41 isn't ready to back down just yet.
Overall Impression — 9
While All Killer, No Filler, is still the best Sum 41's been thus far, Underclass Hero still manages to be some of Sum's best work (Despite the lack of Dave, I miss Dave) thus far. And it's definately a relief from Chuck, which, while acceptably good, really made me feel like Sum 41 was really just turning into a completely different band. But regardless, Underclass Hero is definately a great Album, with some of my Fav songs yet. Some notable songs are "March of the Dogs", "Confusion and Frustration in Modern Times", "Walking Disaster", "The Jester", and "Count your last Blessings". The only thing I felt that really dissapointed me in the album was the over-simplified sound of it all, and I did feel like there was a peice missing in that sound, which was probably caused by Dave's absence. I miss Dave. Overall, Underclass Hero is a wonderfully welcome addition to Sum 41's discography. Dispite the technical lack in the sound, and the dissapointing chorus of Walking Disaster, Sum 41 manages to pull off a beutiful album, with a familiar sound, and amazing lyrics. It just goes to show that Sum 41 still manages to be All Killer, and I'm definately eager to see what they do next.