Sound — 9
"Sea Of Cowards" has some great sounds and ideas. Jack White knows what to do as a drummer, Alison Mossharts agressive, raspy voice really, and Jack Lawrence produces some great bass lines, particularly on "Gasoline" and "Hustle And Cuss". However the man who makes transform the album to good but ultimately forgettable is Adam Federici. His modern synthesiser effects sound so original over what would otherwise be a very traditional and he nails out some great guitar riffs and solos. "Jawbreaker" is an overall highlight of his moving from a truculent keyboard riff to a guitar solo that can only be described as awesome.
Lyrics — 6
The lyrics would be the weakest point of the album by a long way. None are thought provoking, most are passable and some are nonsensical ("Shake your hips like battleships' blue blood blues") but they all give a sense of being made up on the spot. Alison Mosshart is a very specific singer who at some points moves out of her hard hitting genre which is great to see and highlights some of the originality of the album, and when Jack White takes lead vocals, he does just what Jack White does, simplistic blues which sound great.
Overall Impression — 9
The overall impression is that this a great album, brimming with originality. Although many disagree with me, and this isn't including every song, but I would call this part of the under exploited electronic rock genre, although the album includes aspects of blues, psychedelia and garage. The highlights of the album would be the opening, bass heavy "Blue Blood Blues", "The Difference Between Us", "I'm Mad", "Die By The Drop" and "Jawbreaker". This is exactly the kind of thing I would buy again simply because I need to as it is irreplaceable as there is so little like it and I would just have a need to listen to these songs again and again. My final point would just be don't expect The White Stripe, especially "De Stijl", I love that band but I brought this album for the wrong reason: Jack White. Don't get me wrong, he's on top form this album, but just in a different way to some of his previous work.