I picked up Better Than This by The Normals and Alien Youth by Skillet for $2 each last night @ Half Price Books. They’re both better than I expected.

I had listened to a couple of the songs off The Normals newest album awhile ago and didn’t like it too much. The vocals were kind of awkward, and a lot of the music was boring, but I remember Rob saying that their older stuff was better, and it was only $2, so I decided to check it out, and I’m glad I did. The vocals on Better Than This are still a bit awkward, but I think they’ll grow on me as I get more familiar with the songs, like with Carry Away. The music is more full and interesting and the lyrics are intimate and honest.

I was skeptical about Alien Youth because it seemed like it might be a bunch of whiny, angst-ridden Goth songs targeted at teenagers, but their worship album is really good, and, again, it was only $2. The music isn’t as as Nine Inch Nails-ish as I was fearing; a lot of it is just semi-hard rock (ala The Benjamin Gate).

So, $4.30 (after tax, of course) for two good albums. All in all, a pretty good night. Well, that is until Ralph kicked my butt at Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit.