Sound — 9
The sound of this album is somewhat similar to the debut "200 Km/h In The Wrong Lane," but with alot more variety. "All About Us" is almost the only song of its kind, with the exception of "Friend Or Foe." This is a really great song (and is the 2nd single from the album) featuring base tunes from Sting. The other sounds of the album are more dance-based, and at times virging on the almost rock sound (you don't believe it, I know). For example, in the song "Cosmos" the guitar parts are quite heavy and do sound quite simply fantastic. "Dangerous And Moving" is an amazing track, which combines a great synth with some mellow bass and guitar in there too. That covers most of the "sound" of the album, apart from the slower, more relaxing tones found. The only "slow" songs on the album are "Craving," "Gomenesai" and "We Shout." I know what you're thinking, and I don't blame you, ballads on pop CDs are notoriously crap, but here you're in for a surprise. "We Shout" is brilliant, the music is simply superb. "Gomenesai" is good, featuring string arrangements by Richard Carpenter. Unfortunately, "Craving" lets the whole album down, it's really bad, and there's no disguising the fact that this poor quality pop ballad with corny lyrics should have been left off of the album well and truly.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics aren't what you're expecting. It's not all about "We love each other and they can't stop that" like "All About Us" would imply. Infact, the lyrics are (this will annoy you) very clever. However, unfortunately translations from Russian and also the ideas have been toned down a little, almost twisting the meaning of some of the songs. Still, these lyrics are something a bit different. "The danger is the truth; they die and live again." "No mercy for the lost, no soothing for the sick, the line is never crossed; they are the living dead." "Black stars and endless seas - outer space." In general (with the exception of a few) the lyrics are thought-provoking, interesting and work with the song. Infact, in some of the songs the title is said less than 40 times. This may surprise you. What really makes this album special is the Russian song "Obezyanka Nol" (Monkey Zero) and the bonus tracks "Vsya Moya Lubov" (All My Love) and "Lyudi Invalidi" (Invalid People - Dangerous And Moving translation). These lyrics are something special. All of them, though not written by Yulia and Lena themselves, are genuinely superb, and what's more it is very obvious the songs sound much better in their original language - Russian. The lyrics include strange, but very unique passages, such as: "Moya vesalaya, moya smeshnaya bol; ya obezyanka nol" (My funny, my terrible pain; I am monkey zero). "Vecher bez lyubvi, utra bez ovidi, lyudi invalidi" (Evening without love, morning without events, invalidi people). Also, what's very apparent is the frequent use of bizarre metaphors, for instance "Like a cat in a nuthouse." These lyrics are anything but ordinary, and quite ironically, they're almost intellectual.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is much better than the debut album. I promise you that this is not just another manufacutred pop CD - manufactured maybe, but it's extremely clever, bordering on the pretentious, but great, and you won't be able to stop singing and playing along. To be honest, it's hard to choose a "best" song on the album, although what does stand out is how poor "Craving" is. However, don't be put off if you thought "All About Us" was a manufactured piece of crap based around a gimmick, because this album certainly doesn't follow this up. It really is a masterpiece, and I would encourage anybody even vaguely curious to buy it, or at least considering downloading a few songs. Really, I would give this album a full 10/10, despite the let-down of one song, because it simply has so much to offer. Give it a whirl!