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Dropout Year - On a Lighter Note Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 7.25
Production 7
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 7.5
Reviewer Tilt 9
Final Verdict: 75%
Member Ratings
Vocals 6.06
Musicianship 6.06
Lyrics 6.5
Production 6.06
Creativity 6
Lasting Value 6.44
Reviewer Tilt 7.13
Average: 63%
Inside AP.net

Dropout Year - On a Lighter Note

Reviewed by: anamericangod (07/09/08)
Dropout Year - On a Lighter Note
Record Label: None
Release Date: June 24, 2008


If there's one thing I love more than songs of spite, it's songs of spite made to sound so damn elegant. This is what The Dropout Year have done with their acoustic EP On a Lighter Note. They've taken songs from their previous albums Seven Unreturned Phone Calls and Best Friends for Never and untransformed them into melody-filled acoustic versions of their former selves. The replay value of these six tracks is high, to say the least. Catchy, addictive, sing-songy - take your pick. Listeners already familiar with the band's prior work will enjoy the little extras that have been layered into the tracks. With a winning combination of hand claps, jingle bells, gang vocals, and string instruments, The Dropout Year breathe new life into these songs (did I mention hand claps?).

The instrumentation borders on gorgeous at times, with individual strings able to be heard, and the rest of the instruments working together nearly flawlessly. However, on occasion, the vocals sound slightly overproduced. They don't sound bad, but it's one of those situations where a little bit of roughness would have gone a long way. Think about Straylight Run's self-titled album compared to the original demos: good songs, but at times feeling like they could have just been that much better.

The Dropout Year have stumbled onto a winning formula here, and fans are in for a real treat. There's a chance some might enjoy the acoustic versions more than the originals. While the past EPs were straight up pop-punk records, On a Lighter Note shows that the band is capable of a wider sound, even if they are only giving us familiar songs as evidence.

Recommended if You LikeAll Time Low, Mayday Parade, Hit the Lights

myspace.com/dropoutyear
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 23
12:36 PM on 07/11/08
#2
Matthew Tsai
Born and raised
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i don't really like the lyrics.
03:23 PM on 07/11/08
#3
Matthew Tsai
Born and raised
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the music's ok though
09:56 PM on 07/11/08
#4
Adrian Villagomez
The Sword the Anvil the Stone
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Good, concise read.
11:55 PM on 07/11/08
#5
Bryant
...
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Nice.

Would it be crazy if I said I got a Name Taken feel at times?
12:03 AM on 07/12/08
#6
rodericknj
son, i loved you at your darkest
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I really love these guys. They're such great dudes!
12:17 AM on 07/12/08
#7
katieissweet
@katelyndonahue
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I have been listening to this so much in the past couple of weeks. I love it.
01:16 AM on 07/12/08
#8
birtcho
is...
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i might check this out now. i don't really like the guys voice on the first 2 cd's
02:43 AM on 07/12/08
#9
Blake Solomon
Leave a one-way note.
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i know this sounds so fucking nitpicky, but it's just Dropout Year, not The Dropout Year.

I haven't heard this yet, but I sure want to!
05:59 AM on 07/12/08
scmaley
And away we go
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Joe, great review. You are absolutely correct about the high replay value of these songs. I've had this on repeat ever since I got it! There are a few parts that feel overproduced, but I enjoy the emotion that I can hear in the singer's voice at times.
06:03 AM on 07/12/08
Sweetbutter516
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this is pretty good
07:57 AM on 07/12/08
G apostrophe Ra
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This band can bounce back from their singer's departure with ease. In fact, I think new dude (Steve) is considerably better than his predecessor.
08:22 AM on 07/12/08
RamInGoreville
Occupy Your Mind
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This band can bounce back from their singer's departure with ease. In fact, I think new dude (Steve) is considerably better than his predecessor.

I agree. They finally found a new bassist too so they're no longer playing acoustic shows anymore.

And they really are good guys I've met them many times at free shows I've been to, so I hope the best for them
09:42 AM on 07/12/08
bailmeout13
It could be a bowling site.
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Good quick review, liked it. Love the acoustic album, also.
10:34 AM on 07/12/08
anamericangod
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i know this sounds so fucking nitpicky, but it's just Dropout Year, not The Dropout Year.

I haven't heard this yet, but I sure want to!

Listen to it already!

Joe, great review. You are absolutely correct about the high replay value of these songs. I've had this on repeat ever since I got it! There are a few parts that feel overproduced, but I enjoy the emotion that I can hear in the singer's voice at times.

Exactly. I really did not expect to enjoy it this much. Very pleasant surprise.
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