I'm a huge Dredg fan and perhaps I'd built this album up too much in my head but last night my hopes were shattered by an over produced, formulaic shot at the mainstream. Some people will love this album. Its beautiful, uplifting soundscapes have been crafted into 4 minute verse/chorus mini anthems. But loyal fans who have journeyed through "Leitmotif" and "El Cielo" will find the lack of any real challenge on behalf of the listener frustrating and the over produced instrument sounds quickly outstay their welcome thanks to an over reliance on building swirly,delayed,fast picking quitar noise. I cannot help but feel like a management meeting was called after "El Cielo", perhaps the band were asked to pick a direction and stick to it in order to attract a wider audience? By choosing one path for a whole album they have lost that eclectic mix of styles and influences that made the first two albums so special and unique. On the plus side of things "ode to the sun" opens the album perfectly and shows that the band is in no hurry to hide its origins."the tanbark is hot lava" also stands out as being in touch with the creative and quirky sound blast that was "Leitmotif", and "sang real" is simply heart wrenchingly beautiful in its message and execution.(so much so I'd put it top of the playlist) All's not lost yet and I'll put this down to that "tricky third album" thing. I just hope the Dredg boys switch back to whatever mindscape crafted two of the finest cd's to grace my hi-fi.