Sound — 7
The Almost, at first glace, is just your usual Alternative Rock band. There is nothing too fancy in the guitar riffs, and the singer, Aaron, has that certain ring to his voice that sounds desperate. They have their punk songs, and their ballads. Nothing special (or is it? ). But, after listening to this album a couple times through, you realize there is something different about this band. You'll, of course, notice they are Christian. I'll touch on this later, but right now it's not as important. Second, you'll notice their guitar riffs are actually quite original. They aren't just three power chords palm muted through the whole song. (not that I'm not a fan of some bands that do that.) The guitar riffs on most of the songs have a strange off beat sound. The best examples of this would be the songs Stop It and I Mostly Copy Other People. This off beat sound is original, although it doesn't quite flow for me on some songs. Sometimes the vocals don't seem to match the guitar, on account of the off beat guitar. Overall, the sound on this album is creative, but does not always flow well.
Lyrics — 8
I must admit, I was a little worried when I first got this CD. I knew The Almost's members were all Christian, and, lets face it, Christian bands aren't the best at writing lyrics. But I was really surprised with The Almost's lyrics. They have two songs on the album that profess there belief, "Dirty and Left Out" and "Amazing Because It Is". These are also the only two ballad songs on the album. Dirty and Left Out is a guy praying to God, and wondering why He would still listen to him. He professes that he has "been dirtier than you wanna know." To me, this is how all Christian songs should be. Aaron focuses more on how lost and needy he is, instead of just singing, "Oh God your so awesome." You can really feel that Aaron means what he is saying. You can tell this isn't just a song to him, this is a profession of his sins. The other ballad, "Amazing Because It Is", once again focuses on human weakness and the need of something to save us. This is a pretty creative song, in my opinion. The verses talk on how he feels he can't do what he is called to, and then go into the Chorus of "Amazing Grace." Once again, the desperation in his voice sounds true and from the heart. The rest of the album, lyric wise, isn't as amazing. They are your typical song ideas. The lyrics are also somewhat clouded for me, because the words run together often. For me, the lyrics on the rest of the songs don't ask for as much focus. For me, I focus more on his voice than the lyrics, because of the slurring together of words. Lyrically speaking, The Almost does a phenomenal job with presenting us with anything but generic Christian lyrics. Unfortunately, the rest of the album isn't as original.
Overall Impression — 8
If you're expecting to find another Underoath in this band, then you're going to be greatly disappointed. They are really nothing alike, despite this being the side project of Underoath drummer Aaron. My personal favorites on the album are "Say This Sooner", "Dirty and Left Out" "Southern Weather" and "Amazing Because It Is". The only thing that slightly annoys me in this album is the guitar on some songs. The off-beat rhythm really ruins some good songs. If it were stolen from me, I would probably let them keep it. It might do them some good to listen to The Almost.