Sound — 9
I'd heard a couple songs by TDG when I picked up this album. What I'd heard impressed me, so I expected some decent rock from their debut (where better to start than the beginning?) What I heart blew my mind. There's almost nothing special about the album... But when you hear it, EVERYTHING is special. You can't just put it into words. The blast of the barre chords, the perfect timing of the drums, the amazing vocals by Adam Gontier... Many people say Three Days Grace is unoriginal, but I can always recognize them right off when I hear them on the radio, they have a distinctive style that is unsurpassed by modern bands. The drums are good, nothing special. The guitar parts are incredibly simple, but somehow they blast out harder than if they were thrashing at extreme speed. A well-placed power chord can turn a song into a masterpiece, as displayed all through this album. The vocals are simply amazing; Adam roars out the angry songs, whispers through soft parts, and the dark opening to "Born Like This" genuinely sent shivers down my spine.
Lyrics — 9
There is a lot to be said about their lyrics. Some of them are blunt and to the point (ala "I Hate Everything About You") while others, such as "Drown", are great examples of poetry put to music. They deal with dark subjects (breakup, hatred, guilt, despair, getting stoned) and there are few happy moments on this album - but in the end, it doesn't matter. They're just so dang catchy. You'll want to roar out the chorus of "Home", headbang madly to "Scared", and I constantly find myself singing "Drown" in the shower, appropriately enough. "Wake Up", while a very dark song, has some of my favorite lyrics. "Wake up, I'm pounding on the door, I'm not the man I was before", all done with Adam's distinctive and beautiful style. Overrated is just a masterpiece, and though difficult to interpret, stands out as a marvelous work of poetry; the chorus just blew my mind with its sheer intensity. All in all: AWESOME JOB, ADAM!
Overall Impression — 10
I came away from this album wanting it to be MUCH longer. So much power and emotion was put into 44 minutes (not Megadeth, though I am of the impression that TDG now trumps Megadeth). I loved the power chords enough that I learned the entire album today. From the opening chords of "Burn" to the raw intensity of "Overrated", I loved this album. I don't listen to much modern rock (because, frankly, not much modern rock is good), but this album was a gem in the dark. A masterpiece. I love the riffs. I love the lyrics. I love Adam's voice. I hate that the album is so short. I hate that there are no solos (but, to tell the truth, it's awesome anyway!) 01. "Burn" - The opening track, very competitive in feel. The noises at the beginning made me wonder about the album, but then the blazing riff calmed my fears. The guitars are a bit odd on this track, but the main riff is truly a masterwork, and the lyrics are done well, even if they're not the catchiest. 02. "Just Like You" - A song about individuality. Powerful, gritty yet processed, cold but so hot that it blows your mind, this track is amazing. In 3 minutes, it packs more of a punch than Metallica can in 6 (blast you, "St. Anger"!) The riff is one that you want to headbang to, the chorus is powerful and beautiful. 03. "I Hate Everything About You" - A song about breakups and bad relationships in life. Radio-friendly, but powerful nonetheless. The guitar is slightly boring, but the vocals make up for it. The vocal passion put into this song make it well worth listening to. 04. "Home" - A dark song about getting stoned! Everything about this song makes you want to throw up the horns and scream along with it. The guitar is positively amazing - the ambient soft parts are creepy, the bottom string riff is almost thrash metal in its intensity. The vocals are roared into your face, the drums pound out the beat, the bass adds to the mix. All in all, EPIC. 05. "Scared" - One of the more mediocre songs on the record, this one still has the speed to make you want to jump up and down, like Adam encourages the crowd to do during live performances of this song. The lyrics and guitar are slightly boring, but they're powered hard enough to make it a decent song. 06. "Let You Down" - A song about drugs. They entice you, telling you that everyone else is doing it, that you have to do it to be cool, but then once you let it in, they'll destroy you. It's very dark, very powerful. The verse is soft and creepy, the chorus is explosive. 07. "Now Or Never" - The closest this album gets to an inspirational number. I thoroughly enjoyed this song - the power, the darkness, the lyrics are similar in tone to "Break" from "Life Starts Now", about getting off your lazy butt and changing your life. The guitar is powerful, the lyrics are expressive. 08. "Born Like This" - Pure darkness. From its spine-chilling intro accompanied with Adam's gravelly whisper, to the power of its chorus, this one channels the shadows. 09. "Drown" - Another song like "Now Or Never", just lyrically darker. Its main riff is slower and heavier, but the verse is amazing. The guitar is mostly ambient in the verse, but the lyrics are pure poetry; the lyrical parallels between verses amazed me. Then the chorus is both dark and inspirational at the same time. Possibly the best track on the record. 10. "Wake Up" - Whaddaya know, another dark song, this one about a formerly abusive man asking for forgiveness for his past sins. The guitar is simply amazing in this song; the verse riff is beautiful, the chorus riff is driving. I personally prefer the live version in Drop D, as opposed to the studio's Drop F, but overall the song is a great display of art. 11. "Take Me Under" - A sad song, with deep tones of despair and no happiness. The verse is soft and sad, accompanied with beautiful guitar, then the chorus is pure darkness. 12. "Overrated" - This song amazes me. A fast Avenged Sevenfold-style riff leads into a soft grunge verse with cryptic lyrics, followed by the most blistering chorus known to the band. "You made it, you played it, your sh-t is overrated!" The chorus is so simple, yet it becomes almost an anthem against the system - rage against the machine, if you will. What better way to close the album? If this album were stolen, I would kill the offender so hard that Bruce Lee would come back to life just to whimper. BUY THIS ALBUM!