Seriously, he's one of the most personal songwriters ever. Sure, he's not revolutionizing any scene or any genre, but he's easily one of the best as far as nostalgia is concerned. I'm eighteen. One might say that it's obvious I am this personal to Roe's lyrics. Well, that's true. But the thing is, weren't we all eighteen once? A few years from now, I might not play my So Long Astoria cd(the album that got me into music in the first place) as much as I do today, but there's always that personal glue to it that'll make it one of the most important albums of my life.
The thing about him is that he's writing everything as natural and as dead on as possible, and doesn't rely too much on anything else. The Ataris runs on pure nostalgia, actually. Because Saves the Day beats them musically in every way, Blink 182 beats them in catchy hooks in every way, and Fall Out Boy beats them out vocally. Technically, The Ataris is mediocre at best, at all these aspects.
So what does the band bring in the table, if after all they're just this mediocre pop punk band?
Passion, not that any of the aforementioned bands lack it. It's just that Kris Roe has infused his whole life on his records, and it's amazing that after all that he's been through, he's still here, creating music. Because when everything has been settled, the truth about Kris Roe is that there is no difference between him and his fans other than the fact that he carries a guitar and has old records backing him up. His pop punk catalog is somewhat concept albums, in my opinion.
And if it's a concept album, what is it about then?
Hm, let's see. Summerwind Was Always Our Song, check. In This Diary, check. Song 13, check. Oh, wait. I see. It's this tiny thing we call growing up. Kris Roe has documented his life, etched it into the very songs he wrote. And he didn't pour them all out. He left the tiny details, the ones people won't appreciate. Instead, we are left with structure of growing up: first crush, kiss and breakup, crazy bastards with shotgun in hand, ak's, broken promise rings, theme songs(summerwind), the idea that being grown up isn't half as fun as growing up, Charles Bukowski, divorce, teenage romance(San Dimas), the movies we grew up with(So Long Astoria). There we go.
And I'm definitely sure The Ataris new record would be a top five contender, or maybe even AOTY.