You knew the vocals were going to be top notch. But let’s face the facts here. Yes, the first album was decent…held afloat by about three excellent songs, really. But anybody with any taste could tell that Shinedown would be just the same as all the other trend-following bands that one sees these days were it not for the phenomenal voice of lead singer Brent Smith. I myself thought that Leave a Whisper was just not very good, and could have done without everything but Fly From the Inside, Burning Bright, and 45. The band didn’t bring much that was really dynamic to the table. Boy have they made a complete turnaround. Apparently the rest of the band decided to play catch-up with their lead man. Everything about this album is improved, from the guitar playing to the drums, heck even Smith shows that he has a little more diversity…which is impressive considering what he showed off last album. I’d say this is a job well done for Shinedown. Way to say the heck with the trend following and expand musically rather than stagnate like the rest of todays bands. This CD is a must-buy.