Taking Back Sunday

Louder Now

Written by: TL on 26/04/2006 17:54:56

Yesterday American emorockers Taking Back Sunday released their third album “Louder Now”. After breaking through with the much loved “Tell All Your Friends” on Victory Records back in 2002, they followed up with the decent, but, according to many, very disappointing “Where You Want To Be” in 2004, but heavy criticism didn’t do much to prevent TBS from becoming insanely popular, and they’ve pretty much been touring ever since. Now they’re back, and after signing with major label Warner Bros, they’re all set to release the record that’s going to fend off all usurpers to their place among the top (if not on top) of the emo-scene.

The first thing any die-hard TBS-fan (let it be known that I’m one) will probably notice is how production has changed. In interviews frontman Adam Lazzara has been very excited about all the new possibilities the band has gained from working with producer Eric Valentine (Queens of The Stone-Age, Lostprophets), and he has done a fine job of refining the bands sound without making it clean enough to lose the ‘rock’n’roll’ feel. Just put on the record and listen to opener “What It Feels Like To Be A Ghost”. This song starts out with some amazingly catchy riffage, and you get your first taste of how both the lyrics and Adams voice have gotten a lot darker. After having asked us “Are you up for, are you up for this..?”, the song fades into a fast paced drumming; we get just enough time to think “FUCK YEAH!” before bass and guitars enter the soundscape, played down, but insisting on our attention, and then we notice we’re in the next song “Liar (Takes One To Know One)”. Once again, guitars are clearer and stronger than we’re used to, and Adam keeps up the held-back angry but also distanced and self-conscious tone in his singing. Just like the opener, this song is full speed ahead, and if anyone is still doubting if TBS are here to rock’n’roll or not, their doubts should be laid to rest around now.

The album continues with the first single “MakeDamnSure”. Still darker than we know TBS but also added a bit of the naïve tone we know and love from the old days. Next song “Up Against (Blackout)” is a slower song and in my opinion, it’s one of the weaker tracks on the album. Following is the also slower but way better “My Blue Heaven”, the simple yet really catchy “Twenty-Twenty Surgery” and “Spin” which features TBS going all out, full power, full volume angrier and more energetic than ever. “Divine Intervention” takes the stage playing the role of the ‘cheesy, obligatory, slow and pretty acoustic song’ but does an alright job at it, and “Miami” takes the volume a bit out of the album in order to be an incredibly catchy but a bit more traditional pop/rock song. Next is a redone version of “Error: Operator” that certainly sounds better than the earlier version (from the “Fantastic Four” movie OST) and the album is ended by the painstakingly slow “I’ll Let You Live” which displays perfectly just how dark the new TBS can be.

Let me just say it: The songs on “Louder Now” are really good. Every one of them will take turns stickin’ to your mind for days, and though they’re darker than the bands earlier material, they’re still unmistakeably Taking Back Sunday. This is the sound of a band having been together long enough to get really settled and comfortable, being presented with new possibilities of expanding their sound. It’s the sound of a band that’s definitely grown, but who are still blissfully eager to play around with things, like kids set loose in a toy store. I think you can say, that “Louder Now” is TBS expanding themselves as far as they can while still being TBS, and while this should be everything one would expect for a band, you’ll leave the album with a feeling, that if the guys had focused a little bit more on fusing all their new potential into something a bit more coherent, we would have something truly amazing on our hands. This is still a gem-bag of brilliant songs sparkling with energy and joy of playing, and it makes me yearn for another album already. A non-TBS-fan might argue to have this record dragged down to a 7, but I AM a fan, and I really like what’s going on here, so even though it’s no second “Tell All Your Friends”, to me and all the other emo-kids out there, it’s still definitely worth an

8

Download: MakeDamnSure, Liar (Takes One To Know One), What It Feels Like To Be A Ghost
For the fans of: Jimmy Eat World, Senses Fail
Listen: PureVolume

Release date 25.04.2006
Warner Bros Records

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