Friday, October 21, 2011

Album Review: Transit - Listen and Forgive

Boston, Massachusetts' Transit have had a quick rise to the top. Transit has been less interested in gathering a following based off of standard gimmicks such as big hooks and cliché lyrics, preferring to have a more 90’s emo influenced sound. This approach gave Transit a unique vibe, garnering critical acclaim and recognition from the industry itself, earning a surprise signing to scene giant Rise Records. Rise has a reputation for being concerned more with the viability of a band to be successful rather than having quality music, quickly catching on to trends within the scene, and they have been so successful in doing so that they are now in a position to set the trend. Rise saw the potential in Transit and quickly scooped them up. Thankfully, Transit has much more substance than most of the rest of Rise’s roster, and with the financial resources of Rise, Transit has managed to create their most impressive effort yet, Listen and Forgive.

For the greater part of their career, Transit has had a sound uniquely their own. Playing off of standard four chord progressions but with signature vocal presence, interesting song structure and guitar leads, Transit has been practical yet technically interesting enough to have lasting value. This sound was strong enough to separate themselves from the herd, but Transit has taken it one step further on Listen and Forgive.

Listen and Forgive is a difficult record to characterize as there is little to compare it to. Joe Boynton’s vocals are the most static aspect of the record; thematically similar to most of Transit’s other works, Boynton wonders about the meaning of relationships and finding purpose in a difficult world. Boynton’s vocal approach is also similar to the rest of Transit’s catalogue. However, beyond the singing, most of Listen and Forgive is fresh. Gone are the big, meaty progressions of Stay Home. Listen and Forgive is essentially a pop rock record, but with all of Transit’s previous emo vibe and some of their pop punk tendencies. The dirty guitar tones are much cleaner than previously, and power chords are leaned on less heavily. The lead lines are as clever and interesting as ever, and the gang vocals are implemented more tastefully.

Listen and Forgive is Transit’s most impressive effort yet, with a fresh and mature sound. Transit has lost the innocent appeal of their Stay Home days, and Listen and Forgive is a more difficult record to get into. However, Listen and Forgive is a grower, and given a few spins, it becomes the most emotionally appealing release in Transit’s catalogue. Listen and Forgive is sure to be one of the greatest releases of the year.

Rating: B+

Track Listing

1.  You Can't Miss It (It's Everywhere)
2.  Long Lost Friends
3.  Listen & Forgive
4.  All Your Heart (Feat. Patrick Stump)
5.  Asleep At The Wheel
6.  Cutting Corners
7.  Skipping Stone
8.  I Think I Know You
9.  Don't Make A Sound
10. 1978
11. Over Your Head

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