Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Album Review: Saves The Day - Saves The Day

Album Rating: B
A new Saves The Day album almost comes with a guarantee. Since 1998's Can't Slow Down, the band has churned out multiple modern classics and a handful of very solid records. I'm not going to go into personal favorites, but it's safe to assume that everyone has a favorite Saves The Day album, and that album differs from person to person. Coming off the immensely emotional Daybreak trilogy, Saves The Day's eighth album, which just so happens to be self-titled, is their most uplifting of their career. While Saves The Day have progressed and changed their sound many times throughout their history, they have kept a loyal fan base that accepts and grows with them. Saves The Day is easily the group's most straight-forward record, but it is also their catchiest and most radio-friendly.

Saves The Day's Daybreak trilogy was a highlight amongst the many other pinnacles of achievement for Chris Conley. It was an emotional roller coaster, spanning over three albums, that gave us some of the band's most diverse songs ever. The catharsis involved was palpable on many tracks, and the lack of this extreme emotion on Saves The Day ends up hurting the album. The record's 11 songs are all tight-kint pop rockers, but there is never any true climax like past albums. The record almost just sort of ends, and it is slightly disappointing for a band that has given us some of the most incredible album sequences in modern music. Pop songs are very welcome amongst Saves The Day albums, and almost all of them contain a few standout, almost radio-ready pieces, but Saves The Day gets bogged down by them, and feels underdeveloped.

Being the first album that the band self-funded through PledgeMusic, it is somewhat clear that Saves The Day was made almost bare-bones. This is not always a problem though, as the album has a distinct sound and style, and the production is crisp. The dynamics of past releases are missing though. There is no ups or downs as the album stays at a midline throughout. Tracks like "Remember" and "Verona" have some great moments, featuring the distorted and discordant guitar lines that made Daybreak so great, but other songs ("The Tide of Our Times," "Beyond All of Time") feel more like b-sides to a very good EP that makes up the other half of the album.

One of the main issues that holds the record back is the conclusion. Saves The Day have always given their listeners almost story-like albums. Albums that flow perfectly and have a distinct beginning, middle, and end. There is always an epic closing number to cap the album off perfectly, and coming off the high point that was "Undress Me," on Daybreak, Saves The Day have let me down with an ending that deflates upon itself. While "Ring Pop" and "Stand in the Stars" are two very rhythmic and singable songs, they lack the true essence of what has always been a hallmark of Saves The Day albums, the closers.

Every Saves The Day album has to grow and expand on the group's sound. It is a given, this point in their career. Some fans will love this album, and others will not. The inevitable truth is that it is a Saves The Day album, and while it may not be their greatest achievement, it is a welcome addition to their catalogue.


Track list:
1. Remember
2. In the In Between
3. Beyond All of Time
4. Ain't No Kind of Love
5. Lucky Number
6. Xenophobic Blind Left Hook
7. The Tide of Our Times
8. Supernova
9. Verona
10. Ring Pop
11. Stand in the Stars

1 comment:

  1. First reaction - this is the most refreshing album since SWYA