Sound — 8
Right away, it is very different from any projects we've heard from Tom Morrello. It's folk-y, and although folk isn't my first genre choice, it has really grown on me. I've always been a fan of Tom and his projects (Rage and Audioslave) so I gave it a chance, and it truly has impressed me. Of course it's quite laced with politics and societal issues and it's a great combo for the sound of the instrumentals and the meaning. Very protest-esque and sort of brings me back to think of '60s activism.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics and vocals have been a near fatal flaw with this album and me. Certain songs, the lyrics are choppy and often blunt. Which is fine for some, but as a lyricist myself I like to give myself the challenge of making subtle lyrics that still get the point across. As blunt and cliche some lyrics may be, they still find a way to resonate with me. The vocals, at first had me almost cringing but as I listened to more and more songs that attitude changed and turned into one that realizes that the vocals and music suit each other perfectly.
Overall Impression — 8
For me, this album cannot compare to the other works of Mr. Morrello. Not because I don't believe it is not as good or that I'm a nostalgic fan of the Rage days. But because this is a completely different side of Morrello. It demonstrates all the activism and meaning that Rage had, but in a calmer (but certainly not reserved) manner. Overall it's Morrello with a classical guitar and singing. That is the reason it cannot compare to the works of Rage or Audioslave. It is a different side and therefore cannot be compared. As they say, it's like comparing apples and oranges.