Blue October's fifth album, Approaching Normal, is riveting from start to finish. It's saying something that singer Justin Furstenfeld gets away with such traditionally bad ideas as spoken word/whispered parts, stage-worthy drama and lyrics filled with personal revelations. He completely takes over each song here with his mere presence. Even better, though, the band behind Furstenfeld is undeniably muscular, rising to every big moment with the unselfconscious confidence of a true rock band. Check out opening cut "Weight of the World"; it's a real stunner.