Sound — 10
I can't think of a reason why Thrice shouldn't be my favorite band in the world right now. "Major/Minor" leaves next to nothing to be desired in a modern rock album. Everything that Thrice has done well in the past is present here in droves upon droves. While not being overly progressive in the vein of "The Alchemy Index" EP's, and seeming slightly more filled out than the unabashed minimalism of "Beggars", "Major/Minor" succeeds at being both raw and sonic and captures the sound of a band that has reached its summit. For those of you who simply can't hit the skip button past "Deadbolt", I apologize because this album may sail over your head. But for the rest of us, this album shows Thrice more focused and more centered than they've ever been.
Lyrics — 10
Lyrically, Dustin Kensrue is without equal. That's not to say he simply parrots SAT words one after the other but there's a careful, poetic quality to his words that seems to extend far beyond his years. As if that weren't enough, Kensrue puts forth a vocal effort that is both singular and powerful. On 'Disarmed' he croons and moves softly through watery moments while on "Blur" he manages to unleash some of the buzz-saw ferocity that helped put Thrice on the map years ago. While Kensrue is arguably the greatest (and a good candidate for most underrated) front man in modern rock, Kensrue never comes off as preening or superficial. There's a veritable gravity to his words and the emotion behind them that makes you realize he isn't just feigning profundity, he's truly found it.
Overall Impression — 10
Teppei Teranishi has come a long way from post-hardcore shredding and he drives that point home on gems like "Treading Paper" and "Call It In The Air". His playing is calculated and is less about mach 3 soloing than crafting ambient, mood inducing leads. There's still fire there, though, and like Dustin Kensrue he isn't afraid to cut loose several times throughout the record. The same goes for the brothers Breckenridge who continue to put forth phenomenal work in the rhythm section. While Eddie is once again nothing the unsung hero out of the quartet, Riley delivers his greatest performance to date. He's no Danny Carey or Mike Portnoy and he doesn't need to be. He bends and curves Thrice's grooves seamlessly, never fighting more of the spotlight than what he absolutely needs. If "Major/Minor" is anything, it's a snap-shot of Thrice's greatest, most triumphant moments. In the song "Blur", Kensrue sings - "the shutter opens but never closes, I am lost/ Waylaid in light trails" If that's the case, then what an amazing light storm to get lost in". Even the weakest tracks carry more than enough weight - there are no throwaways on this album - which is important, because when you do arrive at the album's crown jewel, the flawless "Anthology", it makes it seem like an added bonus to an already rewarding listening experience. "Major/Minor" may not reinvent the wheel, but it does define the Thrice back-catalogue, which is impressive in and of itself. The darks and lights, the band's highs and lows throughout the years - it's all here, presented without bias. And maybe that's the beauty of Thrice, they've nothing to hide and nothing left to prove. This, simply, is as good a modern rock album as you will ever find.