…but somewhere along the way he learned to sing as well. Good on him! Patrick’s voice has never sounded better, or the band more cohesive. Still, there are two sides to The Amalgamut. One is pop-station friendly, the other certainly is NOT. “God Damn Me” is a joy to listen to. Right now it is my favorite song on the record. Bittersweet vocals float over an acoustic guitar and drums during the verse, blending into gorgeous harmony during the chorus. People will invariably compare it to “Take A Picture”, but this is better.”Columined” is the other side of this album, a distorted, throat-scraping soundoff on the events at Columbine. I wonder how the man has a voice left at all!Some of the songs seem destined for radio airplay, like the already-released “Where Do We Go From Here”. That and “The Only Way (Is The Wrong Way)” are both similar to “Take A Picture” in that they are pleasant to listen to and insidiously singable (meaning you’ll probably hear even tone-deaf people singing them as you cringe in horror).Harder, more adventurous stations might take on “My Long Walk To Jail” or “You Walk Away” which feature crunchier guitars, harder drums, and the trademark skullsplitting vocals. Time will tell.Only the last two tracks seem out of place. “World Today” is wierd and disturbing, like a child in an insane asylum. “I like the world today, I like the world today, I like the world today, when it’s green…And sometimes it’s mean, and sometimes it’s mean, and sometimes it’s mean as can be”. “The 4th” is companion to “World Today”, which is pure aural experimentation. The song (I use that term loosely) is hypnotic and oddly calming but disconserting, as though the musical rollercoaster’s track suddenly left the park, and headed out into the desert.The jumble of styles and sounds on this album is a challenge sometimes, but it is always interesting and ultimately rewarding to follow a band as it grows more skilled and confident. This is Filter’s finest effort so far, and I can only hope the next one comes soon.