Taking Back Sunday is Taking Back Sunday, forever and always. For many, this may be welcome news, as the band has quite literally become legendary since their domination of the last decade. And how couldn’t they be? In the mid-2000’s Taking Back Sunday defined the angst-lite pop-punk movement that listeners couldn’t escape from. However, despite their reliance on the somewhat juvenile themes of being under appreciated and “the complexities of adolescence,” Taking Back Sunday made a name for them, and in the process, garnered a bevy of fans, and a load of critical praise. Yet it can’t be helped to think that Taking Back Sunday have reached the bottom of their bag of tricks, and in the process, have reached the end of their creativity.
You see, Taking Back Sunday will have its audience. It will have its fans, along with those exclaiming as the band’s most fully realized release to date. And while it’s as polished an album as one would expect from the band, it goes without saying that the band simply have lost that “spark.” No longer are their lyrical themes believable, as the now thirty-something’s struggle with the aforementioned themes, and the whole thing comes off as contrived because of it. Aside from this, the band just has not progressed from a musical standpoint. That palpable passion is no longer present, with Taking Back Sunday just going through the motions. Catchy, yes, but in no way is it at all refreshing. This is the same band we’ve been hearing for years, and for those wishing for something new, you shall be sorely disappointed.
With that being said, Taking Back Sunday truly is a great band, so more of the same honestly isn’t that bad. True, Taking Back Sunday is samey, contrived, and overall awkward, but those oh-so-delicious hooks are still present, as are the utterly fantastic vocal harmonies. Songs like “It Doesn’t Feel A Thing Like Falling” and “Best Places To Be A Mom” mix the best parts of everything the band has been throughout their career, and offer up some of the freshest, most lovely moments on the entire record. As stated previously, when Taking Back Sunday works, it truly, truly works.
Taking Back Sunday is by no means a terrible record, but it goes without saying that it is certainly a disappointing one, as it stands as the band’s weakest output to date. They hit their stride about eight years ago and have since continued on the same path, refusing adamantly to alter anything. The album really suffers because of this. Fans will welcome this record, as it’s everything they’ve come to know and love from the band. However, those wishing for something new or interesting will find little here to satiate their desires.
1. El Paso
2. Faith (When I Let You Down)
3. Best Places to Be A Mom
4. Sad Savior
5. Who Are You Anyway?
6. Money (Let It Go)
7. This Is All Now
8. It Doesn’t Feel A Thing Like Falling
9. Since You’re Gone
10. You Got Me
11. Call Me In The Morning