Taking Back Sunday "New Again" Review
Taking Back Sunday
Release Date: June 2nd, 2009
Sounds like: TBS all grown up.
1. New Again
2. Sink Into Me
3. Lonely, Lonely
4. Summer, Man
6. Where My Mouth Is
7. Cut Me Up Jenny
8. Catholic Knees
9. Capital M-E
11. Everything Must Go
In several recent interviews, Taking Back Sunday have been bombarded with the ever-dreaded fan question: "Why don't you write the kind of songs you used to?". When those questioners listen to "New Again", I believe their question will be answered better than it could be in the words of the band members. Fans expecting another "Tell All your Friends" may be sorely disappointed by "New Again", but certainly should be neither disappointed nor surprised.
From "...Friends" to TBS's previous release, "Louder Now" the band has gradually evolved, and "New Again" seems to be just another step of natural progression in that evolution. The band's sound has been changing, though sometimes only slightly through each album, and refining itself into what it has become and is presented as on their latest release.
"New Again" starts with the title track's prompting the listener in with an addictive bassline that sets the mood for the album with a pounding beat representative of the more blatant "rock" sound that carries through the rest of the album, an element that has been far more subtle in past TBS releases. The band seemed to attack their instruments and dive straight into the sound without looking back for this release. Fans of simplicity may be taken aback by the "big" sound TBS have mastered in their own unique way for "New...". Even slower songs ("Where my Mouth Is" |"Everything Must Go") eventually build and absolutely thrash the listener with musical intensity. Whereas, previously Taking Back Sunday have been known for their infamous shrieking dual-vocals, this release may very well define them as musical "dynamicists." Yes, I did just have to make up a word for that.
So, where has all the shrieking gone? Oh, it's still there, but used sparingly and where it is needed for emphasis. The dual-vocals that TBS fans have grown to love are hardly noticeable and relatively rare, but what is also hardly-noticeable is the fact that they are absent; as, new guitarist Matt Fazzi's and lead singer Adam Lazzara's voices mesh harmoniously. As different as the "New Again" vocal styles may be, they still maintain the same sing-along, catchy melodies that fans love. As far as lyrics go, Lazzara has explained in recent interviews that the words penned for "New..." are more personal than ever, and- with a few close listens- fans will find this very apparent.
Some stand-out tracks that listeners should check out:
-"New Again" : For setting the mood for the album
-"Sink Into Me" : The album's first single
-"Swing" : For its addictive properties, beautiful melodies, and sheer make-you-move-ness. (my personal favorite!)
-"Cut me Up Jenny" : To make you sing along on the first listen.
-"Carpathia" : This is the closest thing you will get to Adam Lazzara rapping.
-"Everything Must Go" : To feel. To make your chest absolutely explode.
With "New Again", Taking Back Sunday have refined a sound and made it more their own than ever. Go to TBS's Myspace to hear the entire streaming album for yourself, and let me know what you think!
Also, check out my review of their recent show which was featured on the band's Myspace and on their main site!
Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think!