Sound — 8
Upon first listening of this album, there wasn't much that I could say bad about the sound of this album. The Starting Line have never stood out to me as a massive band, sound-wise, but I can see with the sound on here why people listen to them. They have a very different sound that isn't that familiar with a lot of bands of the modern day. The drum beats, bass lines and guitars all stand out as something that's different to anything being produced by the rest of the bands in the charts at the moment. The Strating Line definatly have something going for them in their sound that works for them and thier audience. Although the sound of the band is very different in comparison to most things that I've heard lately, the arrangement of that sound on some tracks brings the album down slightly. Tracks like "Island" and "Way With Words" sound messy to me, somehow, and end up being tracks that I would prefare to skip, given the option.
Lyrics — 7
On certain tracks, I like the singer's vocals, but on others, they annoy me. I have no doubt that he's a fantastic vocalist but, I noticed that he pushes his boundries just a bit too much on this album, which results in some bad vocals. It doesn't happen that often, but it's there. The writing of the lyrics on here are generally OK, to be kind. I noticed that in some of the tracks, the writing is very weak, and needs a lot of work before the enter my collection of favourites. The tracks that are worst for this have to be "Birds" and, possibly, "I Could Be Wrong". I think that the best about the vocal side of this album is the harmonies created with backing vocals. Combined with what the lead vocalist is singing, they sound beautiful (in the tracks where they are used). I havn't found that many bands out there that can create half decent harmonies between the backing and lead vocals, but The Starting Line manage it.
Overall Impression — 7
I have a lot of mixed feeling about this album. On some tracks, the music is great, but the lyrics are bad and on other tracks, it's the other way around. There's only one track that strikes me as a track that's balanced in both music and lyrics, and that's "Something Left To Give", which is mainly acoustic. This isn't an album that I would go out and buy personally, but it is a decent album, all the same. I doubt it will ever be their "legacy" or ever go down as a classic, but it will still be on the fans' mp4s and iPods until the next album arrives. Definately a good album, but it will only be anything better than that to fans, so it only gets a 7 for my overall impression.