AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
 
Taking Back Sunday - Taking Back Sunday Album Cover

Taking Back Sunday - Taking Back Sunday

Reviewed by
7.9
Taking Back Sunday - Taking Back Sunday
Record Label: Warner Brothers Records
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Guitarist Eddie Reyes most likely never dreamed his band would endure so many ups and downs. Formed amidst the raging hardcore scene of Long Island, Taking Back Sunday formed in 1999, and had a somewhat permanent lineup established by 2001 featuring Adam Lazzara on vocals, Reyes on guitar, John Nolan on guitar/vocals, Shaun Cooper on bass, and Mark O’Connell on drums. It did not take much time for the post-hardcore five piece to establish a name for themselves and release one of the scene’s most beloved records Tell All Your Friends in 2002. Just as soon as the success found them, though, questionable behavior by Lazzara soured the relationships he had with Nolan and Cooper, leading to their departures. Losing them would prove to be an almost insurmountable obstacle, but they continued on, asking guitarist/vocalist Fred Mascherino (now of Terrible Things) and bassist Matt Rubano to join. Under this new lineup, Taking Back Sunday released two more successful albums, 2004’s Where You Want to Be and 2006’s Louder Now. Despite the fame, though, new tensions arose as Mascherino and Rubano sought more control in the songwriting process than the rest of the band would have liked. This tension to led to Mascherino’s departure in 2007.

Surprisingly enough, Rubano stayed with the band as they brought in guitarist Matt Fazzi to begin working on a new record. That record would be 2009’s New Again and it was, simply put, a catastrophe. By far the band’s most disappointing release, the songs sounded terrible, forgettable, and just plain forced. It was so appalling, the band should have issued a handwritten apology for it. Nevertheless, they continued playing shows with apparently less energy and enthusiasm for what they were doing. When fans would request older songs, Lazzara would sardonically dismiss them, saying that they would never play such tracks again. The reason they lacked enthusiasm, though, was because tensions again came to a boiling point as Fazzi and Rubano tried to take complete mastery of the writing process, leading to heated arguments between them, Lazzara, and Reyes. After extensive turmoil, Lazzara, Reyes, and O’Connell officially dismissed Fazzi and Rubano from Taking Back Sunday.

Then, something unexpected happened. Nolan and Cooper were not only giving up on their other band, Straylight Run, but they were also feeling like there was a chance for reconciliation. At just the right moment, O’Connell got in contact with Cooper and Nolan, arranging a meeting where he pleaded with them to rejoin the band. The idea was not a crazy one, and all five members came together at a remote farm in Texas to work out their issues, and create a new album. That new album, which they appropriately decided to name Taking Back Sunday, is now available and exhibits just as many ups and downs as the band’s career thus far.

Fortunately, they did not decide to recreate Tell All Your Friends. Fully aware of how they have matured and progressed both musically and personally, and sobered by everything they have endured, Taking Back Sunday have not created an album tinged with emotional teenage angst. It is, instead, an honest, gritty look at life and relationships backed by interesting lyrics and strong musicianship. The problem, though, is that the record lacks consistency. While some songs are hard hitting and memorable, others are lackluster and get lost in the scheme of things. In essence, then, there are moments of brilliance and moments of rust, which is to be expected when five people create music for the first time in seven years.

Oddly enough, though, the shining moments of the record occur mostly during the slower tracks, which feature outstanding melodies complimented perfectly by the melodic instrumentation. In fact, the album’s best track is the final one, “Call Me in the Morning.” Acoustic and electric guitars come together to create a simple harmonic arrangement to back up superb vocals by Lazzara, and it is a graceful, somber way to end the record with lyrics like “I don’t know where you’re going/But I know you’ve been/I’ve been tracing all your footsteps/I’ve been counting all your sins.” While the vocals are good in this track, they suffer in other songs like “Who Are You Anyway?” which is an interesting step in a new direction for the band musically. The verses are home to a grooving bass line and reggae-like guitars but the song is tainted by the vocal performance as Lazzara’s singing sounds more like high pitched whining. Based on the arrangement, it sounds like a deeper voice would have fit the song much better.

Out of the faster songs, the first single “Faith (When I Let You Down)” is a gem with epic gang and choir vocals that bolster an already strong chorus. Perhaps the hardest hitting song on the record, “Money (Let it Go),” is the catchiest and most in-your-face offering with a vibe mimicking a mash-up of garage rock and punk. It also features the best guitar riffs on the whole CD.

Unfortunately, other fast-paced songs like “Best Places to Be a Mom,” “You Got Me,” and “It Doesn’t Feel a Thing Like Falling” all fail to provide anything mesmerizing to the ears and are easily forgettable as they lack any defining hooks, which causes them to blend in with each other. Slower, more pensive songs like “Sad Savior” and “This Is All Now” provide refreshing pace changes throughout the record, though, which helps to break up the doldrums created by the aforementioned filler tracks. Particularly, “This Is All Now” provides a display of songwriting brilliance with fantastic melodies, musicianship, and lyrics throughout that show the band at the peak of their talents.

So, for the first time in a long time, fans can now truly say that Taking Back Sunday are back. This reunited original lineup seems happy and excited to be making music again, which shows in their live shows and on the record. However, they still have some kinks to work out if they wish to craft a consistently fantastic record from start to finish. When it is time to start recording again, their chemistry will most likely be at an all time high, so the follow-up could easily be the best of their career. After all, they need to make the best album of their career because this current release still is not enough to make up for New Again.

Recommended If You LikeTaking Back Sunday - Tell All Your Friends
This review is a user submitted review from nick19. You can see all of nick19's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 24
01:37 AM on 08/05/11
#2
YouBlindMe
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
Being a huge fan of TBS, I was excited for this Cd as much as anyone. Maybe I just set my expectations a little high, but I was a little disappointed by some of it. Their is a good amount of really strong points but otherwise it was just average. I liked the singles released, "Faith", "This Is All Now". They definitely picked the right songs there. I also really like "Best Places To Be A Mom", "El Paso", and "Sad Savior", and "It Doesn't Feel A Thing Like Falling" is proboly the most underrated song on the Cd. "Who Are You Anyway" is a good song also, but I think it had more potential. Now onto the negative, I think "Money (Let It Go)" isn't a very strong song. The lyrics aren't great and I just couldnt get into it. "Since Your Gone" is just average to me. I dont think "Call Me In The Morning" was that good of a song also and I don't think it should have been the last song.
05:02 PM on 08/05/11
#3
randys950
@randys950
Offline
User Info.
randys950's Avatar
Being a huge fan of TBS, I was excited for this Cd as much as anyone. Maybe I just set my expectations a little high, but I was a little disappointed by some of it. Their is a good amount of really strong points but otherwise it was just average. I liked the singles released, "Faith", "This Is All Now". They definitely picked the right songs there. I also really like "Best Places To Be A Mom", "El Paso", and "Sad Savior", and "It Doesn't Feel A Thing Like Falling" is proboly the most underrated song on the Cd. "Who Are You Anyway" is a good song also, but I think it had more potential. Now onto the negative, I think "Money (Let It Go)" isn't a very strong song. The lyrics aren't great and I just couldnt get into it. "Since Your Gone" is just average to me. I dont think "Call Me In The Morning" was that good of a song also and I don't think it should have been the last song.

Lol, call me in the morning is the most debated song. Some love it, some hate it. Tbs has a huge catalog of songs though. We can finally listen to new again, knowing things got better
05:43 PM on 08/05/11
#4
HarryPotter
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
Wow that was one big reflection.
New album was boring, I don't expect them to become enjoyable again.
05:53 PM on 08/05/11
#5
Tele72
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
Tele72's Avatar
I know I'm an odd one out and happen to really enjoy new again but nonetheless, a great review!
07:00 PM on 08/05/11
#6
TheUpside
It All Feels Like an Ending
Offline
User Info.
TheUpside's Avatar
I think you've taken a couple liberties in telling their tale.
07:06 PM on 08/05/11
#7
StiXFactor
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
I know I'm an odd one out and happen to really enjoy new again but nonetheless, a great review!
It makes me really happy to see someone else say that. New Again is actually, all things considered, my favorite TBS album. I don't know where people are getting all of these adjectives to describe that album...Did they even listen to "Everything Must Go" or "Carpathia"?
08:40 PM on 08/05/11
#8
YouBlindMe
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
Lol, call me in the morning is the most debated song. Some love it, some hate it. Tbs has a huge catalog of songs though. We can finally listen to new again, knowing things got better
Haha I agree I've seen the same about the song. And yeah there is. Also I liked New Again a lot.
08:41 PM on 08/05/11
#9
YouBlindMe
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
I know I'm an odd one out and happen to really enjoy new again but nonetheless, a great review!

New Again was outstanding. I don't understand why people and the band themselves hate it so bad.
08:41 PM on 08/05/11
YouBlindMe
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
It makes me really happy to see someone else say that. New Again is actually, all things considered, my favorite TBS album. I don't know where people are getting all of these adjectives to describe that album...Did they even listen to "Everything Must Go" or "Carpathia"?
This
11:23 PM on 08/05/11
onautolux
CC
Offline
User Info.
onautolux's Avatar
I agree with both of you. It seems due to people being blinded by nostalgia and unable to appreciate something that is an obvious progression from the band they were a decade ago. New Again and Where You Want To Be are my favorites.. the band themselves may hate on New Again but Oasis hated on Be Here Now and I love that album too.
12:38 AM on 08/06/11
hismadness
aka Plenty Mad aka Mad Boys II
Offline
User Info.
hismadness's Avatar
This album is pretty terrible. I was extremely disappointed, and not just because it's not a TAYF clone. When TBS did that one interview way back when they were touring or played a show with the Foos, and claimed they decided to "go rock" or some shit, I knew it was all over.
01:04 AM on 08/06/11
catacombkid
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
This album reminds me of my middle school days.
01:59 AM on 08/06/11
Cody Nelson
Your mouth to God's south.
Offline
User Info.
Cody Nelson's Avatar
This album is pretty terrible. I was extremely disappointed, and not just because it's not a TAYF clone. When TBS did that one interview way back when they were touring or played a show with the Foos, and claimed they decided to "go rock" or some shit, I knew it was all over.
What the fuck does this even mean?
03:20 AM on 08/06/11
hismadness
aka Plenty Mad aka Mad Boys II
Offline
User Info.
hismadness's Avatar
What the fuck does this even mean?
It's pretty self-explanatory.

1) Album = pretty terrible.
2) Me = extremely disappointed.
3) TBS = claimed to become a "rock" band after touring with Foo Fighters back in the day.
4) I = knew it was all over when I heard that.

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
AP.net Podcast on iTunes
UnderTheGun
Purevolume
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate