Hometown Crossfade fans will recognize the majority of this eponymous major-label debut, as it's been retooled from the band's self-released 2001 effort, when they were still known as Sugardaddy Superstar. Columbia's signing of the band makes sense, as Crossfade combines the most marketable elements of Nickelback and P.O.D. (check "No Giving Up"), throwing in the brooding aggression of Cold and Disturbed as bonus glue. Its occasional flirtation with synths and sampling is negligible, as discordant guitars dominate the album's mix. Speaking of cold, that's also the name of the 'Fade's first single. Ed Sloan has a powerful voice, and he sells the track's somewhat generic chorus ("What I really meant to say/Is that I'm sorry for the way I am") by really lighting into the melody. He goes on to apologize for his "screwed-up side" as dull power chords lurch in the background. "So Far Away" and "Disco" follow a similar formula, marrying thick, glowering riffs to rousing choruses; that Disturbed feel really drifts in on the latter, where you half expect an "Oh wah ah ah ah!" yawp after its payoff chorus chant. Crossfade actually runs into trouble with tracks like this or "Death Trend Setta," where they try too hard to soak their considerable rock power in played-out angry guy raps. The band is more successful with cuts like "Starless," the aforementioned "Cold," or even the atmospheric "Deep End," where Sloan hits huge vocal hooks over serviceably powerful riffs. "Dead Skin" is another relative highlight of Crossfade. Musically it's an awkward facsimile of Staind's embittered melodrama, but its tale of addiction and relationship destruction feels like the record's emotional core.
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus