Taking Back Sunday – New Again.
It’s been some tough years for TBS. After the release of the successful “Louder Now”, Fred Mascherino left the band to pursue his own solo career, The Color Fred. This left the band lost, not knowing what they were going to do with their next album. But everyone who listens to TBS knows that these guys are fantastic at surviving to line-up changes. This is no different here.
“New Again” takes the band in a very different direction from their other albums, leaving the old emo/hardcore sound behind for a more polished pop-punk sound. This reflects into 11 solid tracks, with the first half of the album being far better than the second half. You see, in the first half, TBS show why they are a band that’s been able to stay in the emo league for so long. ‘New Again’ kicks off the album nicely, indicating that the band has a more polished sound, but the same lyrics driven on emotion. ‘Sink Into Me’ presents right away as the best song of the album. It’s insanely catchy and uplifting (as much as a song delivered by an emo band can be). The lyrics are also good and it’s a nice song to sing along.
Then, after the amazing chorus ‘Lonely, lonely’ presents and the high-school themed ‘Summer, Man’, the album basically goes downhill. The songs aren’t catchy and are basically too repetitive. ‘Swing’ sounds like a b-side, ‘Cut Me Up Jenny’ is insanely dull and ‘Cathollic Knees’ is just solid. Nice to listen, but it doesn’t stay in your memory for long. Fortunately, the bond redeems itself with ‘Where My Mouth Is’, a good ballad that’s nothing more than a nice pop-rock song to listen too. The guilty pleasure of the album. ‘Capital M-E’ has a good hook and it’s, again, uplifting, ‘Carpathia’ is the hardcore song of the album and ‘Everything Must Go’ ends the album in a disappointing way.
So, you can see “New Again” is a mixed bag, but it’s a very solid album for a band that’s suffered so many line-up changes. Fans will be a little disappointed with the overall result, but casual pop-rock listeners will be pleased with this album.