After enjoying a massive breakout hit with 2000's "Hanging by a Moment," Lifehouse takes its best shot at avoiding the sophomore jinx by offering a set that's as close to bullet-proof as one can get.

After enjoying a massive breakout hit with 2000's "Hanging by a Moment," Lifehouse takes its best shot at avoiding the sophomore jinx by offering a set that's as close to bullet-proof as one can get. Every note of Stanley Climbfall is meticulously measured and carefully designed to sate listeners hoping for a sequel of "Hanging," while also deftly slipping in several well-crafted, forward-reaching tracks that will keep more jaded and critical ears happily engaged. Perhaps most important, much of the set effectively positions frontman Jason Wade as a top-shelf songwriter. He shows that he's got a knack for weaving smarter-than-average lyrics into tightly constructed, instantly memorable melodies. The first single, "Spin," proves his mettle with its anthemic chorus, as do the potential follow-up hits; the haunting, midtempo "Sky Is Falling" and the raucous "Wash." Consider this one of the first big hits of the fall season.—LF