The thing that I really like about The Ataris is their ability to write a melody that moves you, and that really shows through here in songs like "In This Diary" and "The Hero Dies in This One." Their legendary cover of "The Boys of Summer" was also a good choice. The latter fits their style well enough that they could put their own spin on it while staying reasonably true-to-form throughout.
"In This Diary" is one that I didn't discover until just recently, but I would definitely recommend it. This is a really meaningful song that reminds me of my own time growing up even though I don't think I ever knew it existed until long after I left home. It's one of those songs that doesn't sound like it will ever "age," in the sense that the music that was "young people's music" when my parents were growing up did. This will always be "young people's music." It has a spirit that keeps it young, maybe in part because it's about being young.
"The Hero Dies in This One," without a doubt my favorite from this album, and really from The Ataris in general. It's the most powerful, sincere and heartfelt thing I've ever heard from them and it can always blow my 'feels' wide-open. I think it's about the experience of leaving a broken home and giving oneself closure in the same.
Another noteworthy song from this album is "Eight of Nine," which for the life of me I can't figure out what its meaning is supposed to be, except maybe some kind of near-death experience that served as motivation for a self-spurned life-turning-point.
Overall I would give this album a 4 out of 5. It's got so many classics that it deserves 4 stars even though most of the songs haven't made it into my playlist yet.