Taking Back Sunday - Taking Back Sunday
Record Label: Warner Bros.
Release Date: June 28, 2011
First Blink-182 and now Taking Back Sunday? You know Taking Back Sunday has been through plenty of members when there's a fairly complicated timeline on their Wikipedia explaining their member history. When it's broke you fix it…and that's exactly what Taking Back Sunday did.
Their self-titled album starts with a swift kick to the nuts with "El Paso." This is without a doubt Taking Back Sunday's "hardest" song to date. This song is definitely a grower. When I first heard this song, I thought it wasn't TBS, and I wasn't digging it…at all. But TBS are smart dudes; they released this song first, weeks in advance before hearing any of their other new material. Through this, they allowed "El Paso" to grow on most of their listeners (including myself) and become an awesome tune.
"Faith (When I Let You Down)" is the follow up, which is another killer track - not to mention a great radio single. It's actually the first new TBS song I've heard on my radio station here in Florida, and it definitely lets listeners who doubted this band know they're back and at 'em.
"Best Places To Be A Mom" makes absolutely no sense as a song title, but does make sense as another track that rocks. The only problem I have with this is the demo version was so sweet that the "perfected" album version sounds too clean and lacks energy. This track sounds the most like old-school TBS; the demo's not-so-polished "dirtier" version had much more emotion.
"Sad Savior" has that cool, relaxed vibe that reminds me of an old western movie at certain parts. This song goes to prove they recorded this album in the desert.
"Who Are You Anyway" starts off with singer Adam Lazzara and the band in a somewhat strange (but cool) vibe and turns into a killer song at the 43-second mark. This song is one of my favorite songs on the album and has one of the best choruses on a TBS song that I've heard in a while. The dual vocals on this album bring me back to the days of Tell All Your Friends, and that's never a bad thing. "Money (Let It Go)" just doesn't sit well with me; it feels like a forced filler track. The chorus doesn't do anything special and this could be a B-Side…did I say could? I mean should.
"This Is All Now" proves TBS can still write a lyrically strong song that brings you back to TAYF and WYWTB days. I hate comparing a band's discography, but this song has that dark and intense vibe that the original lineup brought to the table.
"It Doesn't Feel A Thing Like Falling" is another track that's good. Not great. Not bad. But good. The high point of this song hits at the 2:02-2:30 mark, and if it wasn't for that part in the song, I'd probably hit next on my iPod.
"Since You're Gone" was a little bit of a letdown, too. But after I realized it wasn't going to be a slow piano song (which I SO wanted it to be), it started to grow on me. It was a little slow for me (meaning not good) until the 45-second mark. That is my only complaint with this song…don't get my hopes up for another "Your Own Disaster" with the piano and then start jamming out.
“You Got Me” sounds like something left off of Louder Now and depending on which type of TBS fan you are that’s either a good thing or bad thing…for me it’s a good one.
Last but not least, "Call Me In The Morning" is simply amazing. I've been playing this thing on repeat all day and it never gets old. I love it when TBS slows it down a little bit and this song makes a great closer.
My Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars
This is a strong comeback for TBS, but there's always room for improvement. I guess all the expectations of the original lineup caused a lot of hype that people wanted filled. I don't know if they necessarily satisfied all of the expectations. With that being said, this album is a success and TBS still have me listening and looking forward to an awesome future for this band. The ball (and hype) is now back in Blink-182's court.
You hit the money on my exact thoughts pretty much with what songs you like and what you thought was weaker. First three songs are really strong. The next two will grow on me the more I listen to them. Money I can't get into for some reason. The last part of the album I feel was really strong, especially this is all now and call me in the morning which I think is their best closer since Slow Dance.