Sound — 10
The sound of this album is the voice of a generation, born from the disatisfaction and disdainment of society. The Clash weren't the first punk band by any means, but in my opinion, they were the essential and most influential of the early (or any) punk bands. The raw energy of the Chainsaw guitars, Blitzkrieg drum beats, and Bouncing bass combine to form a truely unique and original sound. And unlike some of the other early punk bands such as the Ramones or Sex Pistols, the Clash were actually skilled musicians, with some great riffs and a varied sound. The Clash were also one of the first groups to combine reggae with a rock sound, as shown in the excellent "White Man In Hammersmith Palais" and the cover "Police And Theives." Every song on this album has a very unique sound; no skipping to singles required.
Lyrics — 10
Everyone loves a band because they love their sound or style, but in the Clash's case, I'm at a loss. The lyrics on this album are ingenious. Although arguably not their best (see London Calling and Decide For Your Self), Joe Strummer's incredible voice belt out some of the catchiest and meaningful lyrics anyone should be allowed to hear. There are infinite number of Clash-clones (see Rancid), but none have ever equalled the Clash on this level. Some might call them simplistic, but these lyrics are what inspired the street punk anthems that punks know today. Songs like "White Riot," "I'm So Bored with the USA" and "Career Opportunities" have choruses that beg to be yelled in unison. Joe Strummer is, in my opinion, one of music's greatest songwriters, and his first album (with the Clash at least) sets a bar that has not yeat been met in the punk scene.
Overall Impression — 10
What can I say? Maybe I'm biased because the Clash is my favorite band ever, and this is my first or second favorite album of all time, but this is album that no self-respecting punk fan or music lover should be without. Especially due to its historical context, this album was infinitely influencial. Since basically every song is amazing I can't choose some highlights, but one of my favorite songs ever is "Complete Control". The only song I don't thoroughly enjoy is "What's My Name?", but other than that, evert song is a classic. But don't listen to my rambling, grab an open mind, go out and buy this album, and decide for yourself!