Taking Back Sunday

New Again

Written by: TL on 09/06/2009 12:56:09

Since the release of 2002's classic "Tell All Your Friends", Taking Back Sunday have fallen into one of rock's most unfortunate cliché stories, with each subsequent record they released meeting increased resentment from their fan base, even while selling bigger and bigger numbers. Through its history, the band has undergone several changes to its lineup, most notably losing Fred Mascherino, guitarist/backup vocalist/songwriter of four years, for Matt Fazzi after the release of their third album "Louder Now". While Fred left off to concentrate on his solo project, TBS experienced a surge in song writing as they prepared to bounce back with their fourth album "New Again" - Which the Internet meanwhile talked about as the expected final nail in their coffin.

At present moment, "New Again" has been out for a week's time, and I, a declared fan off all three previous TBS albums, have been spinning it with high hopes for my heroes to prove the public wrong. Given my expectations, it's even more sad to have to face the fact that, whether it is because Fred was missing from the writing process or not, the songs on "New Again" just aren't on par with what we usually hear from TBS.

Soundwise the album follows up where "Louder Now" left off, taking TBS away from emo and deeper into alternative rock territory, resulting in a slightly colder and more straight forward feel. The sparkling guitars and intense call/response vocals that originally were the finest points of the band's sound are much less focused on here, and instead the album feels mature in the same hard-to-become-friends-with manner that characterized The Ataris' "Welcome The Night".

It's not like it's a bad record. It isn't. It just isn't as good as what we all know TBS can do either. While songs like "Sink Into Me", "Swing" and especially the closing "Everything Must Go" display that there's still a fire and a playfulness alive inside the heart of this band, overall it just sounds a bit too much like contentment? - or ironically, resignation? Much like it was the case with the most recent album from Funeral For A Friend (a band whose career has followed a similar trail), it's not like you can't listen to and enjoy the songs - it's not like they aren't catchy - they're just not infectious in the way that they make you really feel something to make you want to definitely listen to them again.

I realize that the tone of this review is going to seem slightly negative compared to the grade I have in mind for the album, but considering what band we're dealing with, I think it's fair to be negative, simply because it was hard not to expect more than "New Again" is. It's a solid album and there are good songs on it, but yet I'm fairly sure that there's not one song on it, that wouldn't pale in comparison to any of the songs from the previous "Louder Now".


Download: Sink Into Me, Swing, Everything Must Go
For The Fans Of: The Academy Is, The Sleeping,
Listen: myspace.com/takingbacksunday

Release Date 02.06.2009
Warner Bros

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