So, I'm not the BIGGEST MXPX fan in the world, I own this and "Panic" but the gist I get is that they were getting soft, then when they signed to Sideonedummy they picked it up a little and are continuing that trend. Correct me if I'm wrong.
So, being that I have not all that much to compare it to, I'll just start with Panic. I don't actually thing this album is as strong as Panic was, and it makes me wonder why they abandoned their Sideonedummy journey to return to an older record label. Oh well. The CD is still good ol' fasion catchy pop-rock with obvious punk influence and roots. When you listen to an MXPX song or album, there's always the chance that it's gonna be a little too slow and melodic for my tastes, so when I popped this in and heard the first two tracks, it did wonders to ease the anxiety.
Start to finish this CD is pretty well put together, but it does have a few moments when it bottoms out. There are 19 tracks if you buy the copy from... I don't really remember where I got mine, but it had 3 extra tracks, but they could have shortened it to about 15 tracks, ommiting "Angels" "Drowning" "Never Better Than Now" and "You're on Fire" and it would have been a stronger release, those songs are kind of bland and boring.
Everything else is very nice and appealing to the ears. Tom's guitar and Mike's bass do very well together especially in songs where they both have moments to shine like "Shut it Down" "Bass So Low" and "Sad Sad Song" Mike's vocals are right on key once you get used to it (for some reason it took me a while) and the songs often change from slow to fast without or with little warning. The lyrics cover both petty topics like teenage obsession with electronics and myspace and heavier subjects like relationships and the music industries constant pressure on bands to "sell out." All in all it's good fun to listen to when you're in a good mood or when you're in a bad mood and WANT to be in a good mood.
I originally gave this 4 stars but then I couldn't go through with it 'cause I gave bands like "Suicide Machines" and "Time Again" 4 stars, and those bands are definitely better than this one. If I could go three and a half I would but for now it's three. Ultimately worth picking up. I can't suggest where new fans should start 'cause I'm a relatively new fan myself, so maybe someone can tell me where my new MXPX purchase should be.
Highlight tracks: "Shut it Down" "Contention" "Chop Shop" "Bass So Low" "Biting the Bullet" and "Not Nothing" Wow, they have a lot of really good songs on here. Get this CD.