Mayday Parade – Anywhere but Here
Record Label: Atlantic
Release Date: October 6, 2009
“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction." – Winston Churchill
After Jason Lancaster’s departure from the band, many were interested to see how Mayday Parade approached their follow-up album to their extremely successful debut A Lesson in Romantics. The result, however, is uninspiring; Mayday Parade’s change in direction has caused them to lose their appeal.
The songs found in Anywhere but Here are catchy but little is found outside of their sugar coating. The disc’s opener, “Kids in Love”, is a prime example of this statement. It is a very infectious song but it screams generic and shallow. It lacks any wow factor and is ultimately forgettable. The entire album follows this trend and fails to separate itself from any of the other mediocre pop album found in this scene.
The central theme of Anywhere but Here also becomes tiresome. After “Still Breathing”, the listener already understands Sanders’ frustration with love. To the audience’s dismay, Mayday Parade continues to the beat the point home with offerings such as “Bruised and Scarred.” Though a central theme of love may be relatable to the majority of people, Mayday Parade offers little creativity in expressing their point. The lyrics are downright abysmal; they are littered with clichés. These aforementioned clichés can be found in tracks like “Save Your Heart” where vocalist Derek Sanders belts “Save your heart for someone that’s worth dying for.” If you disliked All Time Low’s “Hello, Brooklyn,” you should consider Mayday Parade’s “Get Up” its hideous twin sister. Anywhere but Here is merely a showcase of Sanders’ inept songwriting.
Anywhere but Here does possess its positives. Derek Sanders has showed his maturation as a vocalist. He displays range and vocal ability; his voice is more refined compared to A Lesson in Romantics. The band has not lost its affinity for guitar solos either. The few solos performed by lead guitarist Alex Garcia are enjoyable and refreshing in a genre that is typically devoid of intricate guitar parts.
While A Lesson in Romantics demonstrated a unique blend of catchiness and emotion, Anywhere but Here only retains the former quality. The album contains melodies that are bound to have the listener hum along but the overabundance of cheesy lyrics are enough for the listener to turn the music off. As many have already accurately concluded, Jason Lancaster was integral to the band; he brought an element that made Mayday Parade stand out from the crowd. For a band that once had enormous potential, it is disappointing to see them accept mediocrity and cater to the screaming scene girls.