Sound — 7
Having heard the first song off this album, 'Tick Tick Boom' I thought I could have been in for a real treat. To be entirely honest I was quite dissapointed. Despite their stereoptype of bouncy riffs and shouty lyrics, The Hives have experimented with their sound on this record. There are still songs you can jump around to, but some such as 'T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S' and 'A stroll through Hive Manor Corridors' are just incredibly boring. If the only Hives songs you are familiar with are 'Hate to say I told you so' and 'Walk Idiot Walk' you'll find some things quite different in here. Some of the better songs such as the superb 'Tick Tick Boom' and 'Return the Favour' make up for some of the lesser tracks, but some of these can get repetative and sound the same.
Lyrics — 8
Obviously The Hives are known for their chanty, loud vocals and this is evident in 'The Black And White Album'.There is also unsurprisingly a lot A lot of 'Yehs', 'Woos' and 'Heys'. Some of the lyrics are difficult to understand and their is very little story to pretty much all of these songs. But you do have to give credit to Howlin' Pelle Almqvist for his dynamic voice and the rest of the band also provide excellent backing vocals.
Overall Impression — 8
This is the only album by The Hives I own so I cannot really compare it with any others, but despite not being a hugely prominent act they compare well with most other garage/rock acts out there. The best songs from the album are 'Tick Tick Boom', 'Try It Again', 'Return The Favour' and the insanely catchy 'Puppet On A String' which will stick in your head for days. I really like the general happy feel of the album but I can see very few of these songs being successful singles. I probably would not buy this album again, but I would be pretty pissed if someone stole it. I would actually rate this 7+1/2 but I'll round it up to 8.