Sharps and flats? theres a lot of sharps and flats in all/any music haha it just depends what key youre in. I doubt hes going out of the key. what song(s) are you talking about? just so i can get a context of what you said.
Also I dislike the concept of filler tracks, so just to play devils advocate Ill point out that a lot of people really like Irony and a lot of their main demographic (teenage girls) im sure are eating that song up. And I just saw an interview where Alex and Jack said Backseat serenade is their favorite song on the album, and a lot of people on here like it too. To Live and Let Go is your 3rd least faovirte. Its my favorite. People have different tastes. Just because you dont like it, doesnt mean its filler.
Edit: Actually surprised To Live And Let Go is so low on your list just because you seem to like the more rock side of the album. The chorus in that song is my favorite of the album. So powerful and catchy by my standards
I'm not really well versed in musical terminology so I might be off but I feel like the vocal melody in many of these songs incorporate a LOT of sharps and flats. e.g. The verse of Backseat Serenade, verse of So Long & Thanks for All the Booze, verse of Live and Let Go, throughout Outlines, verse of Paint You Wings etc. It's not inherently a bad thing and it's something that I've associated with Bayside, I just noticed that they seem to occur much more frequently than they did on previous releases (either that or something about the production makes those notes REALLY stand out), and it kind of takes away from the catchiness factor especially since there are fewer hooks on this album to begin with (at least in my opinion).
I like to point out flaws more than I like to praise so I might have come off as a bit too critical, but the truth is, I love this band so damn much and I'd probably listen to/ try to like whatever they put out in the future. It's just that nothing on this album's really "hit me" like all the songs on SWIR and PUOSU and about half of the ones on NP do, and it's even more frustrating because DP is actually a good album
haha. With Dirty Work, I could go right out and say "half these songs suck ass, they're too produced and are about absolutely nothing" whereas DP clearly has a lot of thought and heart put into it so it bums me out when I find that I can't connect with it.
I just hope it grows on me with a few more listens. I didn't like TRATB when it first came out and now it's one of my favorites so who knows. and Outlines just passed If These Sheets were States so there's that haha.
edit: Filler for me is a song that just fails to hold my attention. Something repetitive and mid-tempo like irony, placed right after a really fast pop-punk song, just annoys hell out of me. Backseat Serenade feels pieced together, like the verse and chorus were parts of different songs and were scrapped together in the studio. And overall, if you listen to any of their other records and then listen to this.... there's a clear drop in catchiness. The melodies aren't as strong, the chord progressions don't hold the songs together and make them phenomenal. There are lots of good songs, but only a few great songs (in my opinion).