Taking Back Sunday: Taking Back Sunday

Taking Back Sunday
Taking Back Sunday
(Warner Bros.)

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It’s been two years since Taking Back Sunday released an album (2009’s “New Again”), so this self-titled released was greatly anticipated.

TBS has gone through several line-up changes over the years, but this fifth album contains all original members from the Tell All Your Friends era: Shaun Cooper (bass), Adam Lazzara (vocals), John Nolan (guitar), Mark O’Connell (drums) and Eddie Reyes (guitar).

Lazzara comments on the band’s new album, saying, “We went into all of this knowing that our music didn’t have to sound a certain way, so we just decided to see what happens and this is what came of it… It couldn’t all be about nostalgia.”

That being said, any music lover knows that change means growth, and thus, TBS fans should not listen to this album expecting the old-school scream-a-longs of Nolan and the angst-vocals of Lazzara that made us fall in love with the band in 2002.  Opening track “El Paso” is an angry take on what seems to be Texan justice and religious views. This theme carries on into the band’s first released track, “Faith (When I Let You Down),” which, while having a catchy chorus reminiscent of “Great Romances Of The 20th Century,” is deceiving in its cliché lyrics: “You might lose your faith in Jesus/Don’t lose your faith in me.”

“Sad Savior” is definitely the most advanced track on the album lyrically, although it’s difficult to dissect the words as caring or cynical, while “It Doesn’t Feel A Thing Like Falling” is easily the best track here, although still mediocre at best.

Overall, this self-titled release is definitely more cohesive, refined and polished than any previous efforts, and the band still has a knack for crafting addictive hooks and melodies. Sadly though, none of the eleven tracks present here stand out, nor does the album as a whole in terms of thematic devices.  Maybe next time.

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