Sound — 8
The overall album sound is a lot more cleaner and polished than contraband. The effect on some songs is great such as let it roll, a real punk/blues rock song reminiscent of g n r. Some other stand out moments include she builds quick machines, very much a song that could have been included on contraband and an obvious first single, for a brother, Weiland on top form here, and Spay a great alternative track. Where at times this album falls flat is on songs like get out the door, last fight and pill, demons & etc. Whereas on Contraband there were many layers of guitar here for the most part there is only three, add to the fact the mix is a lot cleaner with the majority of the bass end left to Duff and Dave kept firmly in the mid some of the songs do loose their impact. This isn't a bad thing and the majority of the songs do grow on you as you begin to listen to it more and forget any comparisons with contraband. The only song in my opinion that is completely out of place is the cover of ELO can't get you out of my head which seems fairly pointless.
Lyrics — 7
Weiland seems to have toned done since coming off drugs in my opinion. His previous work have been dominated by his addictions and have produced some really fantastic results. It's a good thing as a person he is clean but his lyrics have suffered. The majority of this album is based on female attention and the blatantly obvious Mary, Mary is completely about his wife. He has obviously been going through some bad times with her and chose this as a catharsis which at times works great, songs like just 16 and let it roll work well as the lyrics are simple and provide a good backing to the rock 'n' roll influences. His brother did recently pass away and was probably a sore spot for him but his lyrics in for a brother really hit home, his other personal experience of prison, shown in the last fight, really don't hit home but I feel that is mainly because of the rhythm of the dong rather than the lyrical content. American man again the verses are very well written but the chorus is really boring. Overall there are some really stand out moments, the bridge in she's mine springs to mind, but it's not his best work but enough there to keep you thinking.
Overall Impression — 8
The problem this album has, and any sophomore album, is generally the debut album sets the bar. Contraband was a great album, hard rocking deep with some really beautiful melodic moments. Libertad at times you feel is up there songs like let it roll, she builds quick machines, just 16, spay and for a brother, deliver. The majority of the songs even have sections where you think to yourself, wow these guys really rock, for instant the previously mentioned bridge in she's mine and the funky main riff in pill, demons & etc. For me where they have gone wrong are the ballads, in contraband they had three great ballads in fall to pieces, you got no right and loving the alien. On libertad, gravedancer probably lives up to your expectations but the last fight and can't get you out of my head are, dare I say it, awful. Particularly the mix on can't get you out of my head where the drums stand out and sound massively out of place. But having said that there is enough material here to make it an enjoyable album and after 6 months of listening it has really grown on me.