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Taking Back Sunday - New Again Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 6.5
Musicianship 7.5
Lyrics 6.75
Production 6.5
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 4.75
Reviewer Tilt 5.25
Final Verdict: 63%
Member Ratings
Vocals 4.69
Musicianship 5.56
Lyrics 4.88
Production 5.56
Creativity 4.38
Lasting Value 3.31
Reviewer Tilt 5.69
Average: 49%
Inside AP.net

Taking Back Sunday - New Again

Reviewed by: HopeInLove (05/21/09)
Taking Back Sunday - New Again
Record Label: Warner Brothers
Release Date: June 2, 2009

There are a few things that are bound to happen over the course of human history. Wars will happen, happily married couples will fall apart, nations will rise and fall, and good bands will make bad albums. As much as I hate to say this, I have to say it. "New Again", Taking Back Sunday's new album, is bad. Painfully bad.

After the first listen, nothing really stood out to me, except the fact that the band I was hearing sounded nothing like Taking Back Sunday. Where are the dual vocals? Where are the clever lyrics? Where are the good melodies? What about charm and emotion? This record seems to lack every one of these qualities, consistently. Not only that, but most of the tracks on New Again sound generic and forced. There have been Taking Back Sunday songs that I have not liked, but some of the songs on New Again I actually hate, and it takes a lot for me to say that I "hate" a song from one of my favorite bands. Then again, is this band really still Taking Back Sunday? It certainly isn't the Taking Back Sunday I remember.

This record I would defiantly say is Taking Back Sunday's most experimental effort, but some experiments fail, and it's a damn shame that they actually let this record see the light of day. I really do not understand how a band that, almost ten years ago, wrote songs like "Great Romances Of The 20th Century," "You Know How I Do," and "Ghost Man On Third," could write a song as atrocious as "Cut Me Up Jenny." I feel embarrassed just listening to that song, and, for the love of God, I do not understand how Lazarra and the rest of the band could think that fans would like it.

It is pretty common knowledge that Fred Mascherino left the band in mid-2007 to pursue a solo career. One of the reasons he stated for his departure was that there were "creative differences" between him and the band. Or maybe he could foresee New Again's arrival and wanted to get as far away from it as possible. Either way, Fred, you are sadly missed! Personally, I was very sad when I heard Fred left the band. I can remember when Nolan left. I felt that there was no way that Taking Back Sunday could recover from losing Nolan, but they did. They went on to write two solid records. This is because Fred, like Nolan, complemented Lazzara, while adding his own spice to the mix, the result being something different but still Taking Back Sunday.

In comes Matt Fazzi, ex-Facing New York, a fresh new face, armed with a good voice and good guitar skills. Sadly, you rarely hear Fazzi's voice on New Again, and when you do it seems very numbed down. His guitar work on the album shines in some places, but in other places seems really out of place. On songs such as "Cut Me Up Jenny" and "Lonely Lonely," the riffage just doesn't work. Maybe it would work for a different band. Maybe it would sound better if Adam's lyrical arrangements actually complemented what Fazzi was doing on guitar. However, on songs like "Everything Must Go," "Catholic Knees," and "Sink Into Me," Fazzi really shines.

That being said, not every song on New Again is completely terrible. Tracks like "Everything Must Go," "Swing," and "Sink Into Me" I actually enjoyed.

"Sink Into Me" starts out with some dancy drums and guitar and some sing along "Heys!" that I thought fit really well. It winds into some good melodies and lyrical work through the verse and into a very well done chorus that brings back Tell All Your Friends-esque nostalgia with Lazarra singing "I'd like to see our roles reversed to watch you hang on every word, I'd like to see you have you're way." This is definitely one of the strongest songs on the album.

If only every song were as epic as "Everything Must Go." The song starts out with guitar swells, reminiscent Incubus' "Pardon Me," then kicks into a heavy intro that fits perfectly. The song then calms back down into some soft arpeggios and Lazzara singing "..and honey I was proud of it. Yeah honey I was proud of you," referring to him, and now ex-fiancee, Chauntelle DuPree, moving into a new house together. The song then kicks into a chorus reminiscent of Tell All Your Friends, with all the intensity and emotion any Taking Back Sunday fan would appreciate with Lazzara singing "You quote the good book when it's convenient, but you don't have the sense to tie your tangled tongue". The song winds into a powerful breakdown, and then into an emotional final chorus with an amazing solo by Fazzi to close out the song and album.

If I was to walk into a room to hear only the closing track, I would never believe in a millions years that New Again was as bad as it is. That is the strange thing about New Again, is that it has some unbelievably good songs on it, but even more unbelievably bad ones. Songs like "Sink Into Me" and "Everything Must Go" are contrasted too much by appalling tracks like "Lonely Lonely," mediocre songs like "Capital M-E" and "New Again," and songs that are just missing that one thing that would make them really good, like "Where My Mouth Is."

Overall this album is exactly what a lot of naysayers were saying it would be: a huge flop. As much as I did not want to give in to that way of thinking, I now wholeheartedly agree with them. I gave this record my full unbiased attention the last few days, and after many listens, it is only a few great songs that keep this record from dooming Taking Back Sunday's career. Let's hope the next record is titled Taking Back Sunday Again.

Recommended If You LikeTaking Back Sunday's Louder Now, All American Rejects' Move Along, Yellowcard's Ocean Avenue
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 17.
10:22 PM on 06/01/09
#2
Mr. November
I won't fuck us over.
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good review of a disappointing album
three good songs (sink into me, everything must go, carpathia)
and eight disappointing ones
i don't want to be oh fred is gone the band sucks now but it's kinda true
the lyrics aren't as good, song writing isn't as good
those facts lead me to believe that fred was a major part of what made this band good, hopefully they'll get more use to writing together and their next cd will be better
05:20 AM on 06/02/09
#3
Akissforher
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not so stoked to hear this now, not out until friday here in australia, i had high hopes after hearing 'sink into me'

then again i was never a huge a fan as most of their first two albums, apart from a few tracks'
06:04 AM on 06/02/09
#4
HBK42581
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"After the first listen, nothing really stood out to me, except the fact that the band I was hearing sounded nothing like Taking Back Sunday. Where are the dual vocals? Where are the clever lyrics? Where are the good melodies? What about charm and emotion? This record seems to lack every one of these qualities, consistently. Not only that, but most of the tracks on New Again sound generic and forced. There have been Taking Back Sunday songs that I have not liked, but some of the songs on New Again I actually hate, and it takes a lot for me to say that I "hate" a song from one of my favorite bands. Then again, is this band really still Taking Back Sunday? It certainly isn't the Taking Back Sunday I remember."

When are you friggin' people going to learn and admit that this band hasn't been the same since JOHN NOLAN left. Fred was a poor Nolan imitation. I gave up on these guys a LONG time ago. Your poor review of the newest album does not surprise me at all. TBS hasn't been relevant in like 5 years.
08:41 AM on 06/02/09
#5
live.
Feenay! Fee hee hee hee heenay!
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The review itself is a lot harsher than the score. I wish more people would write reviews based on comparisons to Louder Now than to a 7 year old record with a different lineup. Seriously, does every U2 review list the reasons why the record at hand is not as good as Joshua Tree?
09:16 AM on 06/02/09
#6
denissuxx
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The review itself is a lot harsher than the score. I wish more people would write reviews based on comparisons to Louder Now than to a 7 year old record with a different lineup. Seriously, does every U2 review list the reasons why the record at hand is not as good as Joshua Tree?
I totally agree with you.

I don't think New Again is that bad, but I just don't want to listen to it. Miss old TBS
09:22 AM on 06/02/09
#7
simensays
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thats my rating btw. nuff said
10:56 AM on 06/02/09
#8
Yellowcard2006
I'll buy you a raincoat
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Your RIYL are some of my favorite albums. Good call.
01:00 PM on 06/02/09
#9
Noah Fawkes
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This is the album that I consider as the album of the year so far. Low scores and harsh reviews about New Again in this website isn't exactly surprising.
01:13 PM on 06/02/09
Noah Fawkes
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Good review. I pretty much agree with what you said except the only song I like is Everything Must Go. Hopefully they disband after this shitfest bombs
And I hope your favorite band disbands. How would you like that? I don't agree with this review, I don't agree with all the hating going around this website and most of all, I can't understand for the life of me why people who clearly aren't into this band - or aren't anymore - wishing the demise of this band. This is better than the precious Tell All Your Friends that everyone around here praises, and I wish I could thank this band personally for actually growing up instead of trying to stay writing teenage emo ballads, dumbing down their songs to please the most of people that hang around here.
01:43 PM on 06/02/09
doppelganger
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good review. i would put all the subscores lower, especially creativity. lasting value is like 1 for me as well. horrible album.
01:49 PM on 06/02/09
alexa_ATL
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And I hope your favorite band disbands. How would you like that? I don't agree with this review, I don't agree with all the hating going around this website and most of all, I can't understand for the life of me why people who clearly aren't into this band - or aren't anymore - wishing the demise of this band. This is better than the precious Tell All Your Friends that everyone around here praises, and I wish I could thank this band personally for actually growing up instead of trying to stay writing teenage emo ballads, dumbing down their songs to please the most of people that hang around here.
uhh this is better than Tell All Your Friends?



and no offense to your opinion but...
02:21 PM on 06/02/09
Noah Fawkes
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uhh this is better than Tell All Your Friends?



and no offense to your opinion but...
I won't enter in an arguing about the hate that goes on in this website when it comes to this band again. Been there, done that. People with a brain that actually enjoy this band's music are capable of seeing this on themselves.

And stuck your tiny emoticon finger where it belongs, sir.
07:41 AM on 06/05/09
roisterboy
roisterboy
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"New Again" is a mediocre song? Whatever dude.
01:40 PM on 06/05/09
brenByah
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uhh this is better than Tell All Your Friends?



and no offense to your opinion but...



As far as the review you nailed the reasons why it's such a disappointment here:

Quote:
Where are the dual vocals? Where are the clever lyrics? Where are the good melodies? What about charm and emotion? This record seems to lack every one of these qualities, consistently
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