The Deal: Metal outfit releases fourth studio album, shows an increasingly softer side.
The Good: The first single off the album, "Do What You Do," could be considered Mudvayne-lite when held up against the standard the band has set with previous efforts. However, that's not to say the old Mudvayne is missing completely. "A New Game" has plenty of fast licks, heavy drums and Chad Gray's screams. "Scarlet Letters" is a nice acoustic song, but may fit in a bit oddly when you look at Mudvayne's catalog as a whole. There are a few hints of the old, but for the most part, the band appears to be going into a more melodic and slightly toned-down direction – that's got to be good for Gray's vocals, at least.
The Bad: Most people were introduced to Mudvayne via the thumping, heavy groove of "Dig" back in 2001. That beat went on, even carrying over into the band's third studio album and fan-selected B-sides collection. While there are still hints of that heavier side – "A New Game," "The Hate in Me," – the band is showing a more melodic side on The New Game. That's not to say the lightened sound is bad, but long-time fans won't be happy with the kinder, gentler approach.
The Verdict: Taken on its own, the disc is a better-than-average metal album that mixes in the melodic. As a Mudvayne album, it's not the band's best work.