Sound — 9
The sound of the album continues the bands previous style, but comes across as a more clean-cut and produced finish than their previous efforts, most probably due to the band's move to the major label Warner. The band took a much longer period to record the album, and implemented numerous innovative techniques, including those pioneered by other bands, like the splitting up of chords into single notes to record, as previously used by Def Leppard. There is a mix of distortion, acoustic flavouring and crunch with the album, and a wider range of instruments have been used, such as the tambourine and xylophone in the song 'Divine Intervention'. There are some ground sounding parts to the album, with the intro to 'Miami' and then the very decent solo toward the end, and the fast lead guitar in 'Spin' being favourites. The dual-singing approach that the band have used in the past is still present and I was particularly glad that this had survived as I think it's one of Taking Back Sunday's best features.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are of usual quality, but I thought that they could have been expanded in some places, the use of a repeating line for many choruses make some tracks seem a little dull, such as 'Twenty-Twenty Surgery', 'Miami' and 'What's It Feel Like To Be A Ghost?' There are great lines in the lyrics though, and I'm sure fans of TBS will find depth in most songs. The lyrics fit with the music well, and the blending of singing from both Adam and Fred means that the band can pretty well squeeze any lines in, but nothing on the album seems uncomfortable or forced.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, I would rate this as my favourite TBS album so far, but I'm sure many purists might disagree. Compared to many hyped albums from artists which have under-performed or not lived up to expectations, Louder Now is a commendable performance from the band, especially due to their transistion to a major label. Stand out tracks from the album for me are 'What's It Feel Like To Be A Ghost?', 'MakeDamnSure', 'Twenty-Twenty Surgery', 'Spin' and 'Miami', but it's definitely worth buying the album to get the whole feel. I love a lot of the guitar work on the album; I was captivated by the pretty simplistic but effective verses for 'MakeDamnSure' and I think the blend of genres within the album makes it much more versatile than many other contemporary bands - there is jazzy guitar and chilled out harmonics on songs which are alongside loud, stomping, distorted and catchy tracks with pretty impressive solos. The band have not lost their edge whilst adapting to a more mainstream position.