My opinion doesn’t really matter that much, but in the hypothetical realm where it does, Taking Back Sunday takes me back to a time where I used to believe in one true love, lazy Sundays, and sleeping in all day if it meant afternoon delight. Much has changed since then, but my love for Taking Back Sunday is unwavering. This album has all of the emotional sentiments you may remember from their previous albums but with even better song writing, in my opinion, which as you recall from a moment ago, is irrelevant.
Adam Lazzara’s voice is one of the few that I would be able to spot out from a crowd or identify from a lineup and say, “That’s the one… that’s the one that did things to my ear that I will never forget.” In a genre where a lot of bands sound the same you’ll find that TBS has drifted more towards the alternative rock route, maybe borderline indie something? With very refined vocal melody writing and lyrics, TBS’ performs memorable vocal hooks, as you’d expect but also verses that flow in a hypnotic way that remind of me Incubus for some reason. I can’t justify that claim, but it’s a knee-jerk thought.
If you like crunchy guitar tones, as opposed to the rock that nowadays tends to be driven with super high gain, then this album is going to warm your tubes with colorful mid-range guitars that bite hard enough for you to like it, but not bleed. The chord progressions are pop-oriented, simple slash palatable, but they are also interwoven with riffs and delicately placed lead guitar parts that are complex enough to keep your attention, encouraging you to sway your head to the their mid-tempo grooves.
There are also some pretty sweet transition/bridges on this bad boy, my favorites being in “They Don’t Have Any Friends,” where after a sonically full chorus, everything opens up with intermittent drum work and ambient guitar swells and reverb, prior to an ascending vocal line that makes you want to extend your hand out, as if trying to reach the holy grail before it slips into that huge crack in the floor. “Let it go, Junior…” (In case you’ve been living under a rock, that’s an Indiana Jones reference).
“Better Homes and Gardens” might be the closest return to earlier Taking Back Sunday with a chorus that brings that stingy feeling to my nose that signals me to find a private room to in which to cry. Listen to this album, and let yourself get taken away.
02. Flicker, Fade
03. Stood A Chance
04. All The Way
05. Beat Up Car
06. It Takes More
07. They Don’t Have Any Friends
08. Better Homes And Gardens
09. Like You Do
10. We Were Younger Then
11. Nothing At All
Run Time: 41:05
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Check out the song “Stood A Chance”