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Get Up Kids, The - Something to Write Home About Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9.25
Musicianship 9.25
Lyrics 9.5
Production 9
Creativity 10
Lasting Value 10
Reviewer Tilt 10
Final Verdict: 96%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.36
Musicianship 9.53
Lyrics 9.5
Production 9.61
Creativity 9.53
Lasting Value 9.86
Reviewer Tilt 9.81
Average: 96%
Inside AP.net

Get Up Kids, The - Something to Write Home About

Reviewed by: The Personist (07/12/08)
The Get Up Kids - Something to Write Home About
Record Label: Vagrant Records
Release Date: September 28, 1999


The Get Up Kids’ Something to Write Home About is so emo. Now, I mean that in a good way. "How?," you may be asking. Well, simply put, back when emo was a genre and not a haircut, bands like The Get Up Kids pulled at the heartstrings with poignant lyrics and well-crafted songs full of feeling that didn’t rely on dance beats or overwrought autotuned vocals to stay afloat.

The first song certainly proves this album to be full of feeling. “Holiday” wastes no time and blasts out of the gate with a ragged guitar riff and even more ragged vocals from Matt Pryor. Pryor’s words are at their most pained here; he wails with the fury of a spurned lover, and as he belts out his straightforward yet still beautiful lyrics—“Say good night, mean goodbye / I know you think my life will stop when you’re away / Maybe I can see you on the holidays”—the listener can’t help but feel chills bristling up the spine.

The next track, the excellent “Action and Action,” has many layers to it. On the surface it is an angry stab at someone who has obviously hurt Pryor, but closer examination shows that he is in fact as angry at himself as he is at the other person. He is grappling with that while attempting to project his anger at the other person is brilliant. The guitars roar in the excellent chorus, and James Dewees provides the perfect synthesizer icing to the cake that is this song.

After this, the album continues in a similar (and excellent) fashion. “Valentine” is soft and plaintive, featuring excellently overlain vocal lines and a gorgeous yet simple keyboard countermelody. “Red Letter Day” rocks outright, sticking it to that traitor of a friend with an angst-ridden and bone-chilling cry: “How could you do this to me?” The somber “Out of Reach is an acoustic track that showcases Dewees’ beautiful piano skills and a plea from Pryor to start over.

The rousing “Ten Minutes” finds Suptic taking a turn at the mic, and what a turn it is. The way Pryor’s voice serves to complement Suptic’s is beautiful, and secures the two a place on any list of the best vocal duos that may exist. The intro is most likely the culprit that spawned Houston Calls and Motion City Soundtrack and the two bands’ use of prominent synths and keyboards in their songs. This song is a classic as far as this genre of music is concerned, and it is also the last song The Get Up Kids played on their final show, making it that much more poignant.

“The Company Dime” uses a repeated line of “I’m still waiting for you to get over this” to encapsulate the selfishness that Pryor seems to have pegged in himself in the lyrics. “My Apology” has an amazing halftime/breakdown chorus towards the end, as well as lyrics that deal with those tough apologies in a slightly tongue-in-cheek fashion. The balance of sarcasm and seriousness in the lyrics makes the song all the more worth the listen. “I’m a Loner Dottie, a Rebel...” is another straight-up dose of rock that, in all its raw energetic fury, attempts to apologize to someone Pryor left. The guitars in this song are excellent, and the brothers Pope provide a tight and rapid fire rhythmic line that helps maintain the emotions conveyed by Pryor’s mournful voice.

“Long Goodnight” is another “emo” song. The lyrics are among the best here, and Pryor surprises all with a breathily-whispered “let it go” where a mourned yell would be more characteristic of his style. Even after the yelled “I didn’t want it to turn out this way,” he drops back down to a softer, more subdued delivery, conveying the hopelessness and the pain in the lyrics all the more adeptly. The contrast between this yell—which has yet to be topped by any vocalist in rock music—and the softer, more melodic vocals is one that helps keep it interesting and prevent the song from slipping into melodrama by grounding it in that very real feeling of sheer desperation and quiet, anguished hopelessness. “Close to Home” is another fast tune that rocks much like “Holiday” and older Get Up Kids material. But the real kicker, the gem on the album, is the final song.

“I’ll Catch You” is a love song. It is the best love song ever written, in fact. It starts with a held guitar chord from the end of “Close to Home” and then calms to a keyboard melody that has to be one of the most beautiful to ever be played. The song swells as instruments are added and enters a rip-roaring frenzy of emotion and heavy guitars before calming down, ending with Matt Pryor singing, “Don’t worry, I’ll catch you / Don’t worry, I’ll catch you / Don’t ever worry / No need for reminding / You’re still all that matters to me.” It is neither melodramatic nor maudlin; it is level-headed and legitimately about being in love and what that love entails. It is about love. It is about fixing a relationship and making it better. The fact that any band could write a song like this, a song that perfectly captures an emotional relationship, both in its content and in the way it sounds, is beyond words. Never has a song this beautiful been written before, and never since has its beauty been replicated. The Get Up Kids end Something to Write Home About on an excellent note.

It’s hard to talk about this album without getting excited and overzealous. It is my favorite album of all time, even though I first heard it a mere two years ago. What I can say with a level head is that any band in the modern emo/pop punk scene owes The Get Up Kids a major debt of gratitude. This album influenced countless modern bands, be it sonically or lyrically. This is an opus that too often is overlooked by newcomers to the scene, and one that deserves to be placed at the fore once again not for the sake of nostalgia but for the sake of anyone unfortunate enough to have missed out on The Get Up Kids while they were still around. I was one of those unfortunates, but this album is a beautiful and powerful reminder of the music this band made and made well. Something to Write Home About comes with the highest of recommendations.

Track Listing01. Holiday
02. Action & Action
03. Valentine
04. Red Letter Day
05. Out of Reach
06. Ten Minutes
07. The Company Dime
08. My Apology
09. I'm a Loner Dottie, a Rebel...
10. Long Goodnight
11. Close to Home
12. I'll Catch You

Recommended if You LikeHot Water Music; The New Amsterdams; Reggie and the Full Effect; Hot Rod Circuit; good music

thegetupkids.com
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 15
03:46 AM on 07/20/08
#2
Adrian Villagomez
The Sword the Anvil the Stone
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Fitting review for an excellent album. Something to Write Home About comes with my full recommendation. It's the best work by a band that should have exploded in popularity.

In regards to the opinion of the reviewer, I will say I've never quite taken to "I'll Catch You." I appreciate the sentiment, but the song never really clicked with me. I'd place it alongside "Valentine" and "The Company Dime" as the tracks I'm most disinterested in. Regardless, I adore this album. Probably the best blind-buy I've ever made. But this now if you don't own it.
04:15 AM on 07/20/08
#3
Chris Fallon
Boom.
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My personal favorite from the band - very well-written critique. This album deserves all the recognition it receives. This was my first Get Up Kids purchase back in the day, and I am so glad I went with my gut and picked this up.

As Adrian said, buy this now.
10:23 PM on 07/21/08
#4
The Personist
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Fitting review for an excellent album. Something to Write Home About comes with my full recommendation. It's the best work by a band that should have exploded in popularity.

In regards to the opinion of the reviewer, I will say I've never quite taken to "I'll Catch You." I appreciate the sentiment, but the song never really clicked with me. I'd place it alongside "Valentine" and "The Company Dime" as the tracks I'm most disinterested in. Regardless, I adore this album. Probably the best blind-buy I've ever made. But this now if you don't own it.

Initially, "I'll Catch You" didn't do it for me either. One day, though, I was playing the album through and it just hit me how much I loved the song.

I really have nothing bad to say about any of the songs here, but I can see how "Valentine" and "Company Dime" would be tracks that could disinterest one.

Glad you enjoyed the review.
11:25 PM on 07/21/08
#5
ianpritchard
psnoak.bandcamp.com
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Fitting review for an excellent album. Something to Write Home About comes with my full recommendation. It's the best work by a band that should have exploded in popularity.

In regards to the opinion of the reviewer, I will say I've never quite taken to "I'll Catch You." I appreciate the sentiment, but the song never really clicked with me. I'd place it alongside "Valentine" and "The Company Dime" as the tracks I'm most disinterested in. Regardless, I adore this album. Probably the best blind-buy I've ever made. But this now if you don't own it.
truer words have never been spoken
11:31 PM on 07/21/08
#6
Adrian Villagomez
The Sword the Anvil the Stone
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truer words have never been spoken
After hearing how fantastic the album was, I was just waiting for music television to pick it up and run with it. I expected to hear people talking about it, spreading the word. I was naive.
06:09 AM on 07/22/08
#7
Praetor
as we melt, let's make no noise.
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Never really clicked with me, I guess I just don't see what other people see in this band.
08:52 AM on 07/22/08
#8
mjfitzge
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After hearing how fantastic the album was, I was just waiting for music television to pick it up and run with it. I expected to hear people talking about it, spreading the word. I was naive.

funny thing is i first heard of tguk my senior year of high school (spring 2000 probably) when matt pinfield played red letter day on 120 minutes. that night i looked them up on napster, and started downloading the song "fall semester" at about 4 kb/s. the next morning i had it and i officially fell in love with them. that song really changed my musical tastes...

ah, memories.
05:02 PM on 07/22/08
#9
get up kidd
I refuse to sink
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Fitting review for an excellent album. Something to Write Home About comes with my full recommendation. It's the best work by a band that should have exploded in popularity.

In regards to the opinion of the reviewer, I will say I've never quite taken to "I'll Catch You." I appreciate the sentiment, but the song never really clicked with me. I'd place it alongside "Valentine" and "The Company Dime" as the tracks I'm most disinterested in. Regardless, I adore this album. Probably the best blind-buy I've ever made. But this now if you don't own it.

"Blind-Buy" for me as well. The only song i herd was "Im a loner" And I just went out and got the cd.

Changed my life.

Fav band
11:23 AM on 07/25/08
fran.182
Euphoric disconnection
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great record
05:24 PM on 07/27/08
Kid B
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10 for creativity?
07:30 PM on 07/28/08
saving jonathan
everything in transit
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As much as I love Matt Pryor, his vocals do not deserve a 9.25
I don't know...Does he have the greatest voice? No. Does his voice fit very well with the music? Yes.
I guess I'll let that slide then.
02:49 PM on 09/05/09
xapplexpiex
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I honestly like Four Minute Mile alot better. To me, it's more raw and I hear more emotion on it. But this disc is still really good. Nice review.
03:59 PM on 12/25/09
bestofmoss
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back when emo was a genre and not a haircut
Fantastic.
11:55 AM on 02/20/10
AgainstMe!
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One of the best records of all time!! And probably the best one by the Get Up Kids.

Great review!! I totally feel the same way about this album. I especially like the part about the song I`ll Catch You, which is one of my favorite songs...
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