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A Common Year - Between Cities Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 8.25
Lyrics 7.5
Production 8.5
Creativity 7.25
Lasting Value 7.5
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 80%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.45
Musicianship 8.25
Lyrics 7.8
Production 8.1
Creativity 7.4
Lasting Value 7.6
Reviewer Tilt 8.35
Average: 80%
Inside AP.net

A Common Year - Between Cities

Reviewed by: Ryan Gardner (03/21/10)
A Common Year - Between Cities
Record Label: None
Release Date: January 26, 2010


Often times in the pop punk/rock genre, it is very hard to find a band with a unique sound that offers a little change to the same-old-same-old sound. A Common Year have proved to do just this with their self-produced debut record, Between Cities. Still a small, Indianapolis band, these guys have a lot of potential to be huge one day.

Album opener “Distance” kicks off the album with whirling guitars. Immediately, it is clear that singer Casey Baksa can sing without auto-tune and other vocal editing used in the industry today. With only the first track it becomes evident that this record will be catchy, as well as candid, with straightforward lyrics. “Awake” shows that Baksa can write thoughtful lyrics, as he explains, “We tell no lies, But secretly we hide the silent truth of what could never be.” These meaningful lyrics show again how A Common Year stand above other artists in the genre, for they write meaningful lyrics, not just songs about girls.

“Be Good, Be True” and “Used to This” keep the flow going, both upbeat and captivating, as both tracks continue to show that this band knows how to write solid hooks. “A Final Word” showcases the dual vocals of both Baksa and Coleman Bright, proving that both singers can actually sing, as they compliment each other very well. “Don’t Take Me Seriously” is easily a standout track. Baksa’s vocals shine, and the song shows him to be incredibly honest and open, as he admits, “It never was fair; I toss and I would turn, while you slept with a clean conscience without a stir. It drove me crazy.” With lyrics as direct and apparent as this, sung through pristine vocals, this track is memorable.

“Time Is on Your Side” and “Solstice” slow down Between Cities for the first time with acoustic guitars, proving that A Common Year are indeed capable of writing and composing successful slow songs as well as fast jams. “Time Is on Your Side” discusses love, with one-liner lyrics such as “patient love never works out.” Final track “Live and Learn” is another slow gem, highlighting Baksa’s vocals. As the track picks up, it ends with Baksa chanting “And I don't know where I'm going, but I'm never coming home.” These final words may foreshadow that A Common Year truly are going places.

Sure, A Common Year may not be reinventing the wheel with this record; however, Between Cities proves that A Common Year have all the potential in the world to stand above other acts in their genre.

Recommended If You Likepop punk/rock; Valencia; Jimmy Eat World's Futures; Acceptance; Armor For Sleep; Brand New

myspace.com/acommonyear
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 21
10:20 AM on 04/02/10
#2
cbaksa
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You can download the album at http://acommonyear.bandcamp.com for free.

Thanks for the review!
07:14 PM on 04/02/10
#3
COLEMAN902
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Thanks for the review! Just for the record, I wrote and sang that line in 'Awake', not Casey haha. No worries though, thanks for taking the time to do the review!

-Coleman
09:19 AM on 04/04/10
#4
Ryan Gardner
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Thanks for the review! Just for the record, I wrote and sang that line in 'Awake', not Casey haha. No worries though, thanks for taking the time to do the review!

-Coleman
Oh, my bad haha. No problem at all, glad to be able to support you guys and get your band better known; you guys rock!
07:54 PM on 04/05/10
#5
mrnegativezero
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Decent review. These guys definitely have the potential to go somewhere. They should team up with Valencia and do a tour.
07:47 AM on 04/07/10
#6
georgedcc
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Nice review, its a really good album as well.
06:10 PM on 04/09/10
#7
Fatalix
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I've had a huge backlog of new releases to listen through lately and virtually no time to do so. As a result, I haven't given A Common Year a shot despite wanting to.. But hell, this is a great review and it's given me the push to do just that. Off to download! :)
07:40 AM on 04/10/10
#8
cbaksa
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I've had a huge backlog of new releases to listen through lately and virtually no time to do so. As a result, I haven't given A Common Year a shot despite wanting to.. But hell, this is a great review and it's given me the push to do just that. Off to download! :)
Hope you enjoy!
07:22 AM on 04/11/10
#9
Ryan Gardner
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I've had a huge backlog of new releases to listen through lately and virtually no time to do so. As a result, I haven't given A Common Year a shot despite wanting to.. But hell, this is a great review and it's given me the push to do just that. Off to download! :)
Good to hear. They deserve all the support in the world.
02:47 PM on 04/19/10
Smeee
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This album is definitely growing on me. These guys have real potential. Some of the vocals give me a bit of an Armor For Sleep vibe at times.
12:20 AM on 05/07/10
cbaksa
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This album is definitely growing on me. These guys have real potential. Some of the vocals give me a bit of an Armor For Sleep vibe at times.
Rock on! Thanks so much for taking the time to listen.

Haven't gotten the Armor For Sleep comparison before. That's a new one -- but a cool one.
11:02 AM on 07/06/10
Blague
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I'm late to this review party, but I get the AFS vibe from a lot of the guitar interplay and song structuring, especially from their "What To Do When You Are Dead" era.

I love this cd. I haven't had a single friend not fall for it.
12:49 PM on 07/06/10
COLEMAN902
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I'm late to this review party, but I get the AFS vibe from a lot of the guitar interplay and song structuring, especially from their "What To Do When You Are Dead" era.

I love this cd. I haven't had a single friend not fall for it.
thanks man. that's very interesting considering casey and I haven't listened to that record much, but we'll have to check it out!
07:09 AM on 07/12/10
stereokiller
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Saw the record here: http://www.latenightsingalongs.tumblr.com/

Good find. Haha. It has a TheGraduate/Acceptance feel to it. I really liked it on first listen. Will give it more spins.
09:18 AM on 07/12/10
COLEMAN902
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Saw the record here: http://www.latenightsingalongs.tumblr.com/

Good find. Haha. It has a TheGraduate/Acceptance feel to it. I really liked it on first listen. Will give it more spins.
Thanks man! Tell the people at the blog we just thanked them on our facebook fan page. Definitely appreciate the Acceptance comparison. Keep spinning the record and keep in touch!
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