Album Review
Valencia - We All Need A Reason To Believe Album Cover

Valencia - We All Need A Reason To Believe

Reviewed by
Valencia - We All Need A Reason To Believe
Release Date: August 26, 2008
Record Label: Columbia

There is perhaps no better way to open than with the name of Valencia's latest tour, Say No To Neon. The name of this tour describes the Philadelphia quintet (Shane Henderson - vocals, Brendan Walter - lead guitar, JD Perry - rhythm guitar, George Ciukurescu - bass, and Maxim Soria - drums) perfectly. With pop-punk being taken over by overly flamboyant boy bands that care more about what they wear than what they play (like All-Time Low and The Higher), it is very satisfying to know that there are still bands that put their hearts and souls into their music.

I loved Valencia's debut album, This Could Be A Possibility, and thought that it would be a very hard act to follow. On first listen, it seemed as if my assumption was correct. The songs seemed so much more "polished" than they had on the first release. However, after another listen (in which I began listening to the intricacies), the record began to stick with me. After three or four more listens, I was in love with the new "smooth sounding" songs that Valencia decided to put on their sophomore album.

The album starts off with "Better Be Prepared," a catchy song with a great hook ("You've got me walking through the back door/ Hoping that I'll find you sitting there"), the first of many lyrics that allude to the loss of Henderson's late girlfriend, Dana Leigh Burrell. The next stand out song is "Where Did You Go?," an incredibly addictive song with an infectious drum beat that anyone would want to tap their toes to. This song borrows some lyrics from "Remember The First Day," a song written by Henderson for his solo project, Promise of Redemption. After four fast songs in a row to start off the album, "Carry On" (Valencia's first ballad) brings a sad sound to the record, while staying consistent with the record's optimistic lyrics.

"All At Once" is a trip in the time machine back to the old Valencia as it gives off a "bad ass" Alkaline Trio vibe. The production of this song is part of what really makes it special, along with Shane Henderson's truly amazing vocals. Finally, the penultimate song "The Good Life" is possibly the best song on the album. With a riff reminiscent of early Social Distortion, this country-inspired song is utter perfection.

Valencia came out with a great debut that was followed up by an even more magnificent sophomore album. With Henderson's heart and soul so clearly laid on the line in the lyrics of this album, and his incredible vocals, it is "Safe To Say" that this album should go down as the best pop-punk album of 2008. We All Need A Reason To Believe will be an even harder album for Valencia to follow up, but after doubting them last time, I think I have a reason to believe in them this time.

Track Listing
Better Be Prepared (B+)
Holiday (B)
Where Did You Go? (A+)
Head In Hands (A-)
Carry On (A)
All At Once (A)
Safe To Say (A-)
Listen Up (A-)
I Can't See Myself (B)
The Good Life (A+)
Free (A-)

Recommended If You Like Jimmy Eat World; Attracted To Miss; Promise of Redemption; Hit The Lights

This review is a user submitted review from Kevin Lazaroff. You can see all of Kevin Lazaroff's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 45
07:21 PM on 02/17/09
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I totally agree. This is such an enjoyable album.
11:48 PM on 02/17/09
and then what happens?
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spansen's Avatar
i listened to this record for so long in my car this last fall that i retired it just so i wouldn't get sick of it.
11:52 PM on 02/17/09
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mcdizzle88's Avatar
My '08 album of the year. Definitely agree withe the "A+" for Where Did You Go? and The Good Life. My favorites on the album
11:57 PM on 02/17/09
Keagan Ilvonen
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Keagan Ilvonen's Avatar
Such a good record.
12:09 AM on 02/18/09
Fuck what you know!
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laxcrs's Avatar
too high ratings for vox and lyrics. good yes. great possibly. 10's? not so much.
12:12 AM on 02/18/09
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walking_by91's Avatar
Good review. And so true, "Where Did You Go?" is incredibly addictive.
12:43 AM on 02/18/09
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birtcho's Avatar
an insanely good all round album
12:54 AM on 02/18/09
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Nick_K99's Avatar
This album is amazing. It's just four guys playing music they love and putting their heart and soul into it and it shows. This is what music is all about!
12:57 AM on 02/18/09
I was a king under your control
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Spenny's Avatar
A deserving score. When 2008 ended it was my third favourite album of the year, but by now it is probably my favourite. Not one bit of filler throughout.
02:02 AM on 02/18/09
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Armor42's Avatar
One of my favorite albums of 2008
02:51 AM on 02/18/09
You'd be good for me
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fadedmemories's Avatar
I love how the author couldn't resist taking a cheap shot at All Time Low.

"Where Did You Go" and "Carry On" made it to my list of favorite songs of 2008.
03:52 AM on 02/18/09
Lights Camera Distractions
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johnnylcd's Avatar
you should read their website, explaining the "say no to neon" tour name. bad opening paragraph, but good overall review. also, i would have given "listen up" an A ++. favorite song off the record.
03:57 AM on 02/18/09
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First of all, good review. A few points;

I am suprised you used The Higher as an example of a "Neon" band". They don't fall firmly into that catergory.

I actually prefer the more polished sound, and couldn't get into the whole of Valencia's debut effort, perhaps because it is less 'polished'

I also think the mentioning of Henderson's girlfriend, is a very relevant point. A wide majority of the lyrics relate to her in this record.

Whilst I find this a very good review generally, I highly disagree with the song ratings.
04:41 AM on 02/18/09
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cereal4life's Avatar
Pretty good review and I agree with you in part (not the individual song ratings) but there are a couple of mistakes:
*would in the 1st para, 1st sentence.
*stick with me in the 1st para, sentence.

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