With each album the Dropkick Murphys have been adding more and more Irish influence to each album culminating with the large amount of Celtic instrumentation on Sing Loud Sing Proud. On their latest effort the band have dropped most of the Irish instruments and arrangements from their sound and focused more on a punk sound with a folksy edge to it.
This change in the sound has also lead to a change in the overall song structures and writing. The songs sound much more like a collective effort with Al and Ken sharing vocals and the rest of the band joining in on the choruses and their new piper sounds tighter than before. The songwriting also seems more mature than before and the lyrics have matured to deal with a variety of topics including the plight of the working class, changes in life, life's failures, and the loss of loved ones.
I like these songs much more than the party songs about drinking, they are able to show the band's talent for songwriting and provide the listener with some more real and interesting to listen to. But not to worry the band still has plenty of Guinness soaked songs for you, Kiss Me I'm Shitfaced is one of funniest songs I have heard from them, and will probably be played at all their shows for a long time.
I thought it was odd that they included The Dirty Glass which appeared on the Face to Face split, I was surprised they would include the previously recorded song with their new ones. I'm not complaining though, I never bought the split but I really liked the song so I was happy.
There is also a DVD included with this album which has footage from the 2002 St. Patrick's day show and the video of Gonna Be a Blackout Tonight which is one of their hardest songs to date, and one of the best on the album. I think that this album was a big step forward for the Murphy's in terms of songwriting and style, it breaks them away from the Irish punk pack and allows their talents to be showcased