Reviews Taking Back Sunday Self Titled

Taking Back Sunday

Self Titled

Taking Back Sunday were once the face of the new alternative underground movement often labeled as “emo” but over the last few years they seemed to have lost their footing. After losing pivotal member in Fred Mascherino and releasing the uninspired New Again, an album that met a negative critical reception, many fans including myself gave up on the band and expected very little from them in the future. That was all before news that John Nolan, original lead guitarist and back up vocalist, had rejoined the band.

If you’re not familiar with John Nolan, he was part of the original line up with Jesse Lacey of Brand New and was a major creative force on the TBS staple Tell All Your Friends. Shortly after the release of TAYF, he left the band and went on to form Straylight Run. It’s said his departure was due to vocalist Adam Lazzara’s position on song writing; Adam wanted a simple, more direct approach and Nolan wanted things to be left open for creativity. Fortunately they seem to have let Nolan off his leash on Taking Back Sunday, as his creativity is a major driving force on the album.

The bland, formulaic song writing approach we’ve heard on the last three albums from Taking Back Sunday have been tossed aside completely, as the band runs through a myriad of influences and styles with no real sense of structure. For some bands, this would result in an overly complicated mess but that’s not the case here. These changes are done tastefully, and don’t alter the sound we’ve all come to love; instead they compliment it and will invigorate a lot of old fans with the fresh approach. This is made very clear from the start with opening track El Paso, possibly the heaviest TBS song to date. These subtle surprises continue throughout the album and leave the listener guessing.

As similar as the self titled album may be to Tell All Your Friends, I feel I should make it clear these are two very different albums. It’s carries a lot of the same angst and emotional depth as TAYF but the musicianship is on an entirely different level here. TBS were only kids when they wrote the debut album and their experience today is very evident as they display a diverse album in a structured, mature manner. Though the Taking Back Sunday is not a perfect album, it’s easily the best offering from Taking Back Sunday in almost a decade.

7.0 / 10Chad Raynard
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7.0 / 10

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