Sound — 9
This is one of SOAD's latest album, part one of a two-part set (the second part being Hypnotize). The album feels really random, mostly due to the themes of the songs. The sound on this album is like most SOAD you've heard, a little less experimental/progressive than their earlier stuff, but this album brings solid flat-out rock. The sound is good, doesn't lose it's shine quickly, it's an easy album to get addicted to as well so it's a great album to have. The only thing I could see getting in the way are the vocals, which are mostly rapid, random, and spastic.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are pretty random in a lot of songs. It doesn't even feel like it has some super awesome hidden message in there, it's just random. Some of it's political, lashing out at the government and modern society, and some of it is just random stuff. Serj (lead singer) is a bit different from your average singer, but he's a bit of a guilty pleasure. Guitarist Daron Malakian makes his mark on this album as it's the first where he sings pretty frequently. It comes together for a "new" SOAD sound all its' own.
Overall Impression — 9
This album is pretty "fun", if I had to pick a word to define it. I've had it for a couple years, and it has a big nostalgic quality to it, despite only being out for a few years. It's different from their past albums, but many will consider it a good change, even if it means abandoning their earlier progressive style. I love the music itself, and sometimes the lyrics. I dislike how it's somewhat random, such as songs like "Old School Hollywood". However, there are other songs like "Question!" and "Lost in Hollywood" that really bring a different type of lyrical meaning to the table. If I lost it, I'd definitely pick it up again. It's a bit on the weird side, but it's something that a lot of open-minded music enthusiests can find something in it that they enjoy.