I’m going about this review differently than most I’ve done simply because this album has been in such heavy rotation in my CD player over the past year. With that said, it’s particularly hard for me to view this album as anything but. A track by track opinion just can’t cut it and, in fact, I’m not sure if I could have even accomplished this when I first heard the CD.
Imagine a CD which incorporates pop/punk/rap. Drop your first thoughts of Linkin Park. ZH came first.
MFZB is one of those albums that you can pop in your CD player, dare a friend to pick a number, one through fifteen, and watch them grin over the realization they managed to “randomly” select and high energy, catchy, and hard-driving piece of work. Each song contains the staccato lyrics of Ali as Justin soars his vocals into a chorus which you’ll love having stuck in your head the rest of the day. Highlights include Rescue Me, Hello Tomorrow, Blur, Into You, Falling Apart, Runaway, and Dear You – but please don’t let these songs limit your investment in checking this album out. If you like the first song, you’ll love the rest of the album, and vice versa. It’s just that kind of album.
This album molds so well into a solid effort on it’s own terms. Zebrahead critics could use this as proof of an album with lack of unique song differentiation. I disagree. The core of these songs remain the same, but Zebrahead has managed to create an album of balls-to-the-walls pop/punk which fails to bore your ears.
I’m just going to shove this out of the picture right now: “Waste of Mind” and “Playmate of the Year” were not great albums. Hardcore ZH fans or ska/punk fans hail these albums. My opinion is that Waste of Mind lacked structure and solidity, and Playmate was all over the place in terms of musical direction.
Lyrically, ZH isn’t all that bad. Some points are a tad predictable, but they never fail to maintain an earnest feel to their words.
Guitar work is highly underrated on this album, but this is understandable since there is obvious potential which is seemingly restrained. Look at it however you want.
If you’re a fan of pop/rock or pop/punk – this album is YOUR album. Do NOT pass it up!
Less ska than their previous albums. It does seem that a little flavor has been stripped from the band, but this promises a new direction.
It is what it is. While the album is solid, this comes with the fact that each song holds back from being more unique than the others. While each song holds its own for the most part, there is the sharp hint of room to expand their sound.