Sound: The most recent release from the Chicago Trio. This album is finally where they shape their signature sound. All the tracks are energetic, and just plain awesome to listen to. The songs all have a very raw sound and feeling to them, having just the right level of production quality behind them. it's not over produced and isn't slick sounding, just a raw sounding album. The Devil's Takin' Names is a great track to open the album with, and probably one of the best on the cd. Brendan and Chris now sing together on the songs, in a duet fashion instead of switching off, which adds a new level to the band. The slower songs don't seem to have a home on Oh! Calcutta! which is somewhat of a fresh breath of air. The half point of the album introduces the best song of the album and one of the best songs from the band. Are You There Margaret?, It's Me, God is three and a half minutes of musical genius. The vocals alternate, the music flows so well, and the lyrics are well written. This is a song that will really make you appreciate the vocal abilities of both Chris and Brendan.
The album doesn't loose much steam after that song, and has a strong finish with Like a Record Player, and the hidden track Warped Summer Extravaganza. This is a CD that will be stuck in your player for quite some time if your a fan of midwest punk rock or the Lawrence Arms. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics have really been stepped up on this album, seeming a bit more mature, and more serioues. The best example again, is Are You There Margaret, It's Me, God. The alternating vocals, with the lyrics flow so well with the progression of the song. Brendan's drunken like voice is at it's prime on this album. Chris has also stepped up his vocals, which has them blend so well with Brendan. // 9
Overall Impression: This is the strongest album from the trio so far. I can't think of anything that could have been done better. The Devil's Takin' Names, Are You There Margaret?, It's Me, God, Great Lakes/Great Escape, and Jumping the Shark are the tracks that really stand out. Definatly pick this album up if you don't have it. It has been stuck in my CD player since I've got almost two years ago. // 10