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11:49 AM on 07/08/13
#1
Jason Tate
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Definitely my least favorite of their albums ("War Paint" is their best) ... still a pretty good album though -- just very monotonous.
11:52 AM on 07/08/13
#2
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It's funny you say it's their worst record.. because right now, TDS' worst attempts would still be better than 80% of the garbage the genre is currently flooding us with. Bring on the shitty TDS tunes, then! :)
What bands do you consider this genre?

Pop-rock? There's some really good stuff out there right now, so I'd disagree.
11:56 AM on 07/08/13
#3
Jason Tate
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This. I feel like The Wonder Years can get away with it, but The Dangerous Summer really can't.
There's far more diversity on the new TWY album than the new TDS album. I didn't like the earlier WY albums because of the lack of range or tempo on the albums -- it was too normalized -- and they changed that up on their last album enough to keep me interested. TDS' new album tends to get me lost and forget if it's one long song or an album of individual songs, no ebb and flow. No crescendo. Similar "talking the chorus" or way too similar melodies in too many songs stacked next to each other.
12:26 PM on 07/08/13
#4
Jason Tate
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you really need to listen to the second wonder years record again. there's plenty of variations on there. "i won't say the lord's prayer" serves as that album's "devil in my bloodstream."
That song is basically unlistenable because my eyes roll so hard it hurts my head.

But that's another debate entirely, about a different topic, that I don't feel like having in this thread.
12:29 PM on 07/08/13
#5
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I'd agree that The Greatest Generation is more diverse than Golden Record, but not by much.
I'd say by a lot: Soupy has more vocal range, the melodies are more dynamic, and the songs themselves end up being more diverse ... "Golden Record" borders on monotony at times ... in a way that the band hadn't in the past. The highs may be higher ... but the lows are definitely lower and more pronounced as they drone.

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I appreciate when bands can show off a lot of sonic range in their songwriting, and I feel like The Wonder Years made a move toward that for the first time with this latest release. The first half of The Greatest Generation is damn near spotless, and balances the soft and loud dynamics of the band perfectly. The second half loses steam, either with songs that didn't need to be on the record because they don't fit ("Madelyn") or with the kind of monotony they've struggled with in the past. I mean, you can call that album diverse all you want, but they still manage to have a reprise of just about every song on the record during the closer, and none of the interpolations sound unnatural or stretched.
But they change all those songs to fit in the closer ... they're not cut out of the original songs and placed in.

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Golden Record benefits from being shorter and leaner. And I can see how parts of it can blend together for you, but certainly not the whole album. "Catholic Girls" sounds nothing like "Knives," which sounds nothing like "Anchor." There's definitely a crescendo from point A to point B to point C, and I feel like it reaches its climax naturally. I'd actually argue that it's a more versatile album than War Paint was, something I think is ultimately to its detriment because the flow isn't as good.
But that's because "Knives" is the outlier in the album ... also arguably the best song ... due to this diversity (the two outlier songs are the best on the album -- the other being "Miles Apart"). "Catholic Girls" and "Anchor" sound like you could cut the gap between them and not realize you've changed songs. Where is the crescendo? Where is the climax?
12:39 PM on 07/08/13
#6
Jason Tate
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Bands = any pop/rock/punk/alternative band covered on this site. Fair enough?

I agree there is some good stuff out there right now, however the good does not outweigh the mediocre and putrid. TDS' "worst" efforts are still better than most average genre/scene music currently; the only point I'm trying to make.
If that's the comparison, then you're dead wrong. Plenty of great bands covered on this site that are making fantastic op/rock/punk/alternative albums. Hell, "Golden Record" will be toward the end of my top 20 ... meaning there's at least 20 more bands I think released a better album.

TDS' worst songs are definitely as average as the run of the mill genre music. Not sure why you're judging them against the worst in the genre though.
12:44 PM on 07/08/13
#7
Jason Tate
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the argument "its better than a lot of other stuff" is elementary
This.

... it's like saying "This band vs the field" ... sure, even with some shitty "other stuff" ... the field still wins.
12:47 PM on 07/08/13
#8
Jason Tate
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I'm making the argument because Thomas' comment basically stated it's their "worst record" and quite average. Was that missed?
He's right.
12:48 PM on 07/08/13
#9
Jason Tate
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Why? Because it's quite true.
It's also worse than a lot of other stuff ... given that we're playing against the entire field of music.

Lots better. Lots worse. The definition of average.
01:58 PM on 07/08/13
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I'm pretty sure the vocal ranges are almost identical.
Don't know how you could listen to both albums and say that ... AJ's voice is clearly on the outs on this album, and he's struggling to even hold notes. I think it's part of the reason they had to write an album that sounds so monotone and flat -- cause he can't take his voice into anything else for a chorus that stands out. He ends up speak/singing through too much of it.

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Soupy sings a high B flat during the climax to "Screen Door," AJ has high B's all over "Drowning." Neither sings notes that are particularly low.
I don't think picking out two places where they sing the same note is indicative of vocal range. But I simply can't agree that both singers have the same range after listening to the albums back to back. AJ's voice sounds shot. I'm legit worried if he doesn't start taking care of it that the band won't even be able to perform their old material live in the same manner as it was recorded.

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The changes are extremely minute. Some melodies get one or two notes changed, others just get slowed down, and others are quoted directly.
But the changes are why they fit together ...

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It's actually quite artful how they do it, but the fact that the pieces fit together so well speaks to the inherent similarity that the songs shared in the first place.
I don't think so. I think the fact that they change things to make them fit is why they fit together so well. If you cut off the corner of a puzzle piece, and then it goes into the puzzle, you can't claim that it fits because all the pieces were the same.

I disagree that there is the same "all the songs sound similar" theme running through "TGG" as "GR" ... on TGG between tracks 1,2,4,5,7,10,11 you can find far more diverse material than you will find on any stretch of this album. Changes in pacing, melody, chorus distinction, audible guitar riff ... and there's distinct highs and lows in virtually every song.

"Golden Record" for the most part stays flat. We see comments from people not even knowing they're listening to the chorus. With a few exceptions, that is indicative of most of the album.

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I'm not trying to tear that record down: it's currently in my top ten, and I could easily see myself liking it more than Golden Record come the end of the year. I just feel like you are being particularly hard on this band for doing something that so many other outfits in the pop-punk or pop-rock scenes do with every album.
That's because it comes down to execution ... one band did it very well and showcase it over a collection of songs ... one band did it just alright. Lots of bands write similar sounding songs for an album, but the great ones don't end up getting you lost in the middle with everything bleeding together. Be that a failure in sequencing, production, or lack of diversity -- we can argue where all day -- but it is definitely a problem on this album that stands out far more than on other "top genre" albums.

Never said that it's an issue that doesn't exist in other albums as well ... but overcoming it (see: War Paint) was what the band was capable of doing before. I don't think they did here. I believe they need a different producer to bring something else out of them ... cause a good portion of this just sounds phoned in ...

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There's only so much you can do with four chords and a verse-chorus-bridge pop song structure, and I have always thought this band handled those constraints better than many from their scene.
And I would agree they did ... until this album. Here, they suffer from a monotony hereto unseen in their catalog.

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Haha, I actually think it's the weak point, but that's a different argument entirely. I don't think "Catholic Girls" and "Anchor" sound even remotely alike. And the climax is "Anchor," definitely. That song couldn't be anywhere but at the end of a record.
Sure it could, it's not even a good closer ... and I'd also argue that a climax of an album shouldn't be in the last song (and that it's not here, given that I don't think there's much differentiation within the album itself) ... that musically, we want to hear a climax toward the middle of an album, and then resolve at the end. The best albums don't climax at the very end, they use the end of the album to wrap up all of the material. To bring you down from the ride. To naturally resolve.
02:16 PM on 07/08/13
Jason Tate
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Transatlanticism is the album that does this perfectly, in my opinion.
What a great "must listen to this full album experience" album.
02:20 PM on 07/08/13
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for all the shit handcuffs gets, i think TDAG does it perfectly too.
I think "Vheissu" does it so perfectly as well.

Otherwise you'd have something like "Hold Fast Hope" at the end of the album. Hah.
12:44 PM on 07/09/13
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See his twitter rant today?
01:51 PM on 07/09/13
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I don't find that sorta music necessarily worse but its hard for me to not enjoy how personal and the hard work of a group that wrote the lyrics themselves. Thats just my opinion but all my favorite albums were written by the band and even more so the songs told narratives and/or were very personal. I mean nothing wrong with having someone write your songs but its hard to get emotional songs that way.


Counter example.
02:13 PM on 07/09/13
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I never said it was impossible for the songs to lack emotion but rather more personal written songs are usually more powerful. I am not saying its always the case. Heck I think that means more today than in the past. I am not talking about covers at all as artists can be inspired by specific songs or give their own twist to them.

I know in the past it was commonly done but in regards to another one of his arguments it was a time before a lot of effects were really in play. I am also not saying this is a golden rule in general. I just find songs written by artists usually more emotional and personal. You can send as many counter examples as yall want but it does not change my opinion. If yall find me grossly out of line saying that than I am sorry but its just my perspective based on music I usually listen to and even then not 100% absolute.

Not everything has to be an argument. This time around it was just my opinion based the perspective I get from listening to music I enjoy. Feel free to have a different opinion.
Why wouldn't being shown hundreds, if not thousands, of great (emotional) songs written by someone other than the performer not change your opinion that "its hard to get emotional songs that way"?

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