Aaron Gillespie's solo work as The Almost isn't going to blow anybody's mind, but it's consistent with his work as the drummer in Underoath. It's not the best album you'll ever hear, and it's not even the best off shoot solo album you'll ever hear, but it has one thing that a lot of other off-shoot solo albums don't have, potential. Gillespie's work as The Almost has the potential to become something special. It doesn't happen on this album, but it comes close- real close.
"Southern Weather" is first and foremost a good listen. You won't get bored while listening to it, and you'll find yourself heavily getting into more than half of the album. Tracks like the single "Say this Sooner" (which is built around an acoustic guitar line) are frequent on the album. Not necessarily the acoustic guitar, but the blending of a unique element with today's emo. Like track 9- "Never Say "I Told You So"", Gillespie's drums almost have this "Wipe Out" surfer rock vibe to them, but blended with some thicker guitar work, some great guitar lines, and Gillespie's vocal- the song's happy and intense at the same time. I don't know how you can pull that off- but Gillespie does so throughout the album.
This album and this side project of Gillespie's does nothing to take away from Underoath. It only adds to the band's credibility. Gillespie shows off his creativity on The Almost, and proves that he is one of the creative forces that drives Underoath. In terms of potential, the sky is the limit for Gillespie. He can continue to pursue both The Almost and Underoath all he wants, both will be popular and both will be critically acclaimed.