A Day To Remember – What Separates Me From You
Record Label: Victory
Release Date: November 16, 2010
Diversity is an often underappreciated and seldom seen quality in music, as many bands choose to limit their creativity within the parameters of a particular genre or “sound”. Bounded inspiration produces stale and uninspired musicianship, which not only daunts progress but also drains whatever creativity was there to begin with. A Day To Remember’s What Separates Me from You is not a drastic departure from the band’s previous work and hardly ever deviates from the material they have already released. This is most evident in the first portion of the album which sounds like a mere compilation of B-sides from Homesick than its own substantial offering. However, the second half of the Florida native’s latest release contains enough excitement, infectious choruses, and energetic songwriting to somewhat redeem the less than inspired first half. What Separates Me From You doesn’t set any new standards or break any established conventions of an A Day To Remember record, but is successful at refining an old sound.
The album opener “Sticks & Bricks is a fairly standard beginning track that contains all the elements you’d come to expect from the band. Rough vocals, heavy guitars, and a catchy pop chorus are all present and start the album off in the same way that “The Downfall Of Us All” did for Homesick. Unfortunately this track is not at all indicative of the rest of the album as most of it falls short of the excitement generated by this song. “All I Want” and “This Is The House That Doubt Built” perfectly display these shortcomings as both fail to reach the level of high energy that the band is known for. Boring song structure and anti-climatic choruses plague the beginning portion of What Separates Me From You making it seem more like filler than carefully constructed songwriting.
The monotonous precedent set by the beginning few tracks of the album is finally broken up by the introduction of the heaviest song the band has written to date. “2nd Sucks” is notable heavier than anything that the Florida based group has produced yet, which has vocalist Jeremy McKinnon push the limits of his voice in an admittedly thrilling song. While this may not be the best track of the ten, it shows that A Day To Remember hasn’t forgotten their hardcore roots.
Musically, the second half of the album improves upon almost every aspect that had made the first so painfully dull. While enhancements like improved chorus structure and implementation of catchier melodies (as seen in “Better Off This Way”) make for some of the most contagious songwriting ever seen in the band’s discography, they like every other A Day To Remember song still suffers from an apparent lack of lyrical substance. This unfortunate aspect always detracts from the quality of the writing that causes even the catchiest of songs like “All Signs Point To Lauderdale” feel inescapably cheap.
A Day To Remember isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel with their latest release, which is a truth that becomes abundantly clear only two or three tracks in. The lack of originality is often redeemed with impressively explosive tracks like “You Be Tails. I’ll Be Sonic”, but incredibly catchy songwriting cannot shake the feelings of déjà vu. What Separates Me From You is a mere platform in which the band used to perfect their blend of pop-punk and hardcore elements. Although this pays off with some of the best songs the band has written to date, I can’t help but wish that they used this album to explore different elements and bring more songs like “2nd Sucks’ to the table. So what separates this album from every other release? Not a whole lot.
I love this cd (most tracks), but i will admit, reminds me a lot of homesick except for a few songs. but its that element they took from homesick i like. i will say though, great review, i like the ones that actually express their opinion well and not just douche troll. P.S. been listening to them since "And Their Name Was Treason" so im not one of the people who heard downfall of us all and loved it (thought it was one of their more poorly written tracks)
I don't get this whole "the first second half is way better then the first half of the record" theme you chose for this review. The record is of a consistent quality in its short 10 song format and ALL I WANT is hands down the best song in my opinion. Does anyone know if this is ADTR's last record in their Victory contract? I have been thinking that how short and kind of rushed this record kinda feels might have to do with them saving some things for their inevitable big Major Label debut.
Pretty good review. I agree that All I want, & This is the house.. were prob the worst ones on there. But All Signs Point To Lauderdale was prob the best. Either that or 2nd Sucks. Homesick def kicked ass. Better than this
good review, you've explained your arguements very well.
I agree on most aspects you focused. The record is far from being artistic, and they seem to have chosen a safer approach than trying to explore new ways. the lyrics are also pretty generic, and lack creativty comparing to Homesick. and yet, I think the album is pretty good.
I also agree that the second part is better than the first, except from All I Want, which is my 3rd favourite song. but then again, the overall sound is pretty solid, really catchy and some songs like All sings point to Lauderdale and I'll be tails... are some of the best song's they've ever written. and the first half isn't as bad as you've written! and generally, the album is a pretty good listen (too bad it's so short).
wow first review I have seen for this cd and its not a dick suck adtr review.. the rest of the review I have read make it seem like they made a drop dead amazing album. But really there are a handful of tracks on the cd I skip
I realize you're kind of forced to apply the standard review categories to this album, but realistically, decking an ADTR album's score due to lyrical depth is pretty meaningless. I don't think anyone expected anything "deep" from this album, considering a breakdown on their last one started with "DISRESPECT YOUR SURROUNDINGS."