Taking Back Sunday

Taking Back Sunday

Written by: TL on 09/07/2011 20:44:53

Back when I was only starting to get into rock music, Taking Back Sunday was one of the bands that lead the way for me, as I caught them at their highest, after their releases of now seminal emo-rock albums "Tell All Your Friends" and "Where You Want To Be". The former record had established the band with an explosive popularity, and already then, drama was around and line-up changes happened in between. While the band released albums to increasingly wide popularity, loyal fans were underwhelmed with each successive effort, and while things were still solid on 2006's "Louder Now", 2009's "New Again" proved a futile experiment that had many marking it as a sign of the band's imminent demise, which I personally can barely remember to this day.

The band's declining hype-curve was instantly flipped on its head however, when bassist Shaun Cooper and guitarist/singer John Nolan were brought back into the band, after having played in Straylight Run since leaving the band after the release of "Tell All Your Friends". Recordings commenced almost instantly, and about two weeks ago the result was released, boldly self-titled - And deservedly so, because if "Taking Back Sunday" the record has since proven to be anything, it is proof of the band re-discovering its strengths and presenting them as clearly and purely as possible.

Big riffs are in, and so are big emotions and most of all, big choruses. A skeptic could complain that save for the Brand New-ish "El Paso", there isn't much new to be found under the sun on "Taking Back Sunday", but such comments seem of little significance when listening to the disc and discovering that almost every song has an instantly memorable chorus that stands out above anything and everything that might compromise its staying power. Sure, plenty of the songs open with memorable guitar signatures - see for instance "This Is All Now", the "Spin"-ish "You Got Me" or the rumbling "It Doesn't Feel A Thing Like Falling" - yet they only stick around long enough for you to briefly wonder "have I heard this before" before a massive chorus is upon you. Each of the songs mentioned so far are evidence of as much, but much more proof is still to be found in tracks two to seven, the first two of which, "Faith (When I Let You Down)" and "Best Places To Be A Mom", have already gathered praise on the internet from new and old fans alike.

Exposed to critical questions such as "apart from choruses, is there much texture to appreciate?", "will the album grow over many listens?" and/or "is it as good as the two first TBS albums?", the album is however one that answers a slightly disappointing "no". Much like "Louder Now", "Taking Back Sunday" is a rock-solid album, that delivers consistently on all but two songs ("Money (Let It Go)" and "Since You're Gone"), but it is still a far cry from the urgency and intensity that enchanted the classic Taking Back Sunday albums. That being said however, a record that serves you nine instantly memorable and singalong-able songs out of eleven is still more than most bands can manage, and the fact that Taking Back Sunday have managed to produce just that should certainly kindle hope in fans for the reunited line-up's creative future.


Download: Faith (When I Let You Down), Best Places To Be A Mom, It Doesn't Feel A Thing Like Falling
For The Fans Of: The Academy Is..., Emery, Just Surrender, Anberlin
Listen: soundcloud.com/takingbacksunday

Release Date 26.06.2011
Warner Bros/Victory

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