Common Courtesy Review

artist: A Day to Remember date: 10/31/2013 category: compact discs
A Day to Remember: Common Courtesy
Released: Oct 8, 2013
Genre: Metalcore, Pop Punk
Label: Self released
Number Of Tracks: 13
You can't deny the energy of A Day To Remember on their new album, which ranges from sweet melancholic nostalgia to straight-up fury.
 Sound: 7.8
 Lyrics: 8
 Overall Impression: 8.2
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overall: 7.3
Common Courtesy Featured review by: UG Team, on october 18, 2013
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: A Day To Remember was formed in 2003 by several friends in Florida, and since that time they've garnered national attention with their unique brand of pop punk and metalcore. The members themselves say that early in their career they were told the mixing of pop punk and metalcore wouldn't work, but they've persevered and made a place for themselves. The album, "Common Courtesy," was a long time in the making due to a contract dispute with their label, Victory, which made it all the way to court. The album was released following the settling of the court case which allows the band to release the album themselves, while still contractually being obligated to release 2 more albums for Victory. The album is their 5th full length studio release and contains 13 tracks with a runtime of approximately 53 minutes. The first single was released quite a while ago (December 2012), which was "Violence (Enough Is Enough)" and was followed much later (October 7) just a day before the official digital release of the album with "Right Back at It Again." While the album has been released digitally, the physical release of the album has been delayed. The album was produced by Andrew Wade and, per interviews with the band, Tom Denney (the original lead guitarist, who left the band in 2009), though he isn't credited with production. In interviews there have been hints that Tom Denney may also be contributing to vocals, writing and guitar but I have not been able to confirm this, though he has been credited on 9 of the 13 tracks. Whether this means he helped in the writing process, or actually performed on the recording I cannot say. The band has also recently announced a deluxe edition of the album containing 16 tracks, instead of 13, that will be available in late November. The album starts out with the track "City of Ocala," which opens up like a fast paced pop punk ballad. The lyrics are extremely nostalgic focusing on where the band came from. "Right Back at It Again" opens up as a metalcore track, but transitions back to pop punk for most of the track with a little bit of metalcore near the end of the track. The third track, "Sometimes You're The Hammer, Sometimes You're the Nail" is one of the heaviest songs on the album, though the choruses are definitely well within the realm of pop punk. "Dead and Buried" starts off heavy as well, and possibly the darkest track on the album musically, but it feels a little off-kilter with the lyrics which seem to be more about concern about the musical legacy the band will leave behind. "Best of Me" has an almost indie vibe to it, but the pop influence is definitely present. The lyrics sound like a break-up song, but I'm not sure if he's talking about a romantic interest or their record label. "I'm Already Gone" is an acoustic track, or at least predominantly acoustic, and this one is a kind of melancholy ballad about self-identity. Next is their lead single, "Violence (Enough Is Enough)" and this one is another heavy one (except for the pop punk choruses), though the lyrics have a kind of emo/mopey theme to them. "Life @ 11" is next, and this one is pretty much pop punk from start to finish with the exception of some borderline metalcore style vocals that pop up occasionally during the song. "I Surrender" is next, and this is the second mainly acoustic track on the album. This is another love song that I'm not sure if it is about a love interest or their record label. "Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way" is next up with an interesting intro basically made out of some sustained distorted chords and drumming, then when the vocals come in it gains momentum and is a really driving track. The lyrics for "Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way" are kind of confusing because I feel like they're talking about something specific that I'm not aware of with lyrics like, "I heard a little girl killed herself today/ that blood's on your hands/ It's on your hands/ when everyone knows your face, nothing's safe/ You'll live your life as a fucking target." Next is "End of Me" which opens up as an acoustic track, but the rhythm guitar is the only thing that stays acoustic, with electric lead guitar, etc. Each time I hear this track it flip-flops from one of my favorite tracks from the album to one of my least favorite and back again. The track "The Document Speaks for Itself" is a metalcore romp that is a straight on attack against their record label. Of course, the chorus is pop punk on this one as well. The album closes out with the track "I Remember," which is another pop punk track from start to finish, and also very nostalgic with the lyrics dealing with early touring and playing to close to empty venues. The last several minutes of the track is just audio of the band members telling old road stories. After listening to the album I feel like I know the members of the band a little better than before I listened. Unfortunately, their metalcore songs/passages seem really generic to me. They seem to shine much more with their pop punk offerings, but I have to say it is much better than on their earlier albums. // 7

Lyrics: Jeremy McKinnon is the founding vocalist of the band, and is credited with the writing of all the lyrics on the album. He has proven that he is able to sing well in both genres that the band plays within, and with time his songwriting seems to have become more and more personal. The vocal performance can't be faulted, but also nothing stood out as spectacular, either - the vocal performance was adequate. Lead guitarist, Kevin Skaff, is also credited with some of the vocals (mostly backing vocals) on the album, and I have no complaints on his performance, either. As I had stated previously, the lyrics are very personal and this definitely does give them more impact and seems to work really well with the pop punk portion of their music. As a sample of the lyrics, here are some from the track, "City of Ocala": "Remember way back when? They said this life was a dream/ Well it still is, I never wanna wake/ Standing in my backyard at our old practice space/ Hard to hold back the tears from streaming down my face/ That was then, this is now/ You can't run before you go learn how, and you won't/ This is our corner of the world/ Where we can come to be ignored/ This is our point where we return/ This is where I came from/ This is where I came from/ Remember way back when? This place seemed bigger to me/ Learned how to play guitar, and made my mom watch me/ We always knew back then, just where I'd be right now/ We never questioned it, was more like when and how." // 8

Overall Impression: Immediately what you realize upon listening to "Common Courtesy" is that this is by far the most personal album the band has released, with a lot of their personal history, feelings, and recent events transparently used in their songs. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and the narrative viewpoint always seems to work well for pop punk. The album also seems to radiate enthusiasm, which is something that I wasn't really feeling with their last release. The band apparently started with 40+ songs according to interviews, and the songs included on the album were the songs that made the cut - and this is where I fall off the bandwagon. While there are some really good tracks on the album, there are also some very mediocre tracks. My favorite tracks from the album would have to be "Violence (Enough Is Enough)," and "City of Ocala" (because I like the nostalgic narrative). While neither pop punk or metalcore are my favorite genres, the band has successfully made the two sound good together vs. back in their early days where it sounded like a gimmick to my ears. I'm interested to see what direction they take this over time. // 7

- Brandon East (c) 2013

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overall: 7.3
Common Courtesy Reviewed by: a7xb4d, on october 31, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: It would be an understatement to say that "Common Courtesy" was a highly anticipated album by A Day To Remember's fans. With stories of the band suing its label and a nearly three-year wait, "Common Courtesy" had a lot to prove. All I can say is that for fans of the band, it was well worth the wait. "Common Courtesy" opens with the pop punk ode to the band's hometown, "City of Ocala," a great display of A Day To Remember's ability to write catchy pop punk. Following it is "Right Back at It Again," a song unofficially released prior to the album and done in similar style to the song before, but with more hardcore traces. From then on out, "Common Courtesy" oscillates between heavy and soft. The best example of this is how "Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way" and "End of Me" are right next to each other. The first is straight metalcore and about two minutes of screaming and chugging riffs. The second is more of a ballad, using an acoustic guitar at the beginning and ending with an emotional chorus. The final song on "Common Courtesy," "I Remember" serves as a recollection of the band's touring experiences, ending with just the band talking about the various things that happened while on the road. What's interesting about this record is that it makes it look like A Day To Remember have gotten heavier and poppier at the same time. On "Common Courtesy," you'll find acoustic ballads ("End of Me"), in-your-face metalcore ("Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way" and "Violence"), pop punk songs ("City of Ocala" and "Life @ 11"), and sometimes a combination of any of those different styles ("Sometimes You're the Hammer, Sometimes You're the Nail" and "Dead and Buried"). In that sense, the album is very much A Day To Remember, but there is something different on the album that wasn't on any of the previous releases. It's hard to put into words, but it can almost be described as a more refined sound. "Common Courtesy" shows that this is a band that has progressed in musicianship over the past three years. Sound is more diverse on this record than any of their previous releases, and that's a good thing. In addition, the emotional "I'm Already Gone" exhibits a quality of A Day To Remember that is rarely seen: an ability to do more than just the formulaic combination of pop punk and metalcore. It is still obvious, though, that A Day To Remember just play what they think sounds cool. The only difference is that the band has become better at writing songs and playing music. // 7

Lyrics: "Common Courtesy" has a few themes throughout it, but the most prevalent one is the feelings that come with the success A Day To Remember has had. "City of Ocala" features some of my favorite lyrics on the album in its chorus: "This is our corner of the world/ Where we come to be ignored/ This is our point where we return/ This is where I came from/ This is what made us who we became/ Where they know me, not just my name/ There's not another place the same/ This is where I came from." This shows how most of the lyrical writing is on the album, simple, yet not bad because of that. Jeremy McKinnon remarked in an interview that he has become better at getting ideas across to people through lyrics, and this album certainly shows that. A Day To Remember have once again proven that they can write a chorus that will stick in your head. While covering topics like touring, the legal battle with their label, and one song targeted at "revenge porn" website creator Hunter Moore ("Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way"), A Day To Remember stays consistent with the quality of lyrics they have done so far. Overall the lyrics are well done on "Common Courtesy." // 7

Overall Impression: In my opinion, this is A Day To Remember's best work yet. They manage to display a variety of song types with success and it really shows how much they have improved as musicians. While not a groundbreaking record by any means, it certainly solidifies that A Day To Remember will stay relevant within their scene. This was definitely an album made for both the long time fans of the band, with traces of older material peppered throughout it, and designed to bring in new fans, with elements of a new, progressed sound throughout the record. Overall, the record was catchy, heavy at the right moments, and soft at the right moments, too, basically what you would expect from an A Day To Remember record. "Common Courtesy" is a solid record from a band with a history of solid recordings (unless yo don't buy the pop punk/metalcore sound) and it shows A Day To Remember's best music to date. // 8

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overall: 9
Common Courtesy Reviewed by: HH_Emo_666, on october 31, 2013
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Sound: In my honest opinion, this has to be A Day To Remember's best sound album. They incorperate a lot of their past stuff. On "Common Courtesy," they mainly stick to their "pop-punk" sound, rather then their "metal-core, or easy-core." They used the usual acoustic, electric, bass, drums, electronic drums, and possibly even piano. This is Jeremy McKinnon's strongest effort yet as a vocalist. Really testing his "acoustic" range to the high punk-pop, to the screams on their heavy tracks. He is at top of his game and seemingly seems to become better and better with the new material that they release upon the years. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are really good. Ranging from loneliness, to being screwed over by their record label (Victory, even though they self released this due to a court date a week before the album came out.), to a little girl killing herself (not really sure who it was or if it was just thrown in there for drama) to all of the things that they remember from leaving Ocala Florida to being all around the USA and other countries. The song, "The Document Speaks for Itself," is about the ongoing lawsuit between the band and Tony Brummel, of Victory Records. // 9

Overall Impression: Like I said before, it's a huge step up from their other albums that they released. This is one of the bands that seem to continue where they left off with their previous albums, considering other bands go in a different direction. 1. "City of Ocala": Starting out with Jeremy's screaming of "F--K YEAH!" it goes into a nice palm muted verses leading up to a poppy pre-chorus. The chorus is of course filled with 4 or 5 different power chords, but with a strong relationship of lyrics provided by Jeremy which will be a hit while playing live. Great song to start the album out with. 2. "Right Back at It Again": One of my favorite tracks on the album. Can be considered the "All I Want," track of the album. Definitely a hit single if released the right way. Starts off with octaves, and then a bass slide, and then Jeremy screaming "WE'RE COMING OUT SWINGING." Verses consist of them being in highschool, hanging out with friends and growing up. Chorus is very catchy, the highlight of the song. The bridge is where the solo happens. The solo consists of octaves mimicking the vocal notes during the chorus. After the solo it goes into electronic drums, and then the regular chorus. One thing that kinda made me irritated about the song was the screaming. The intro didn't really need it and the final pre-chorus didn't need it either. 3. "Sometimes You're the Hammer, Sometimes You're the Nail": This song is the first "heavy" song on the album. Starting out with a nice chugging guitar riff, an and then into a typical strumming pre-chorus. The chorus is decent. To me it was a little annoying, yet catchy at the same time while Jeremy is singing "take, take, take, take, take it away from me." The bridge consists off strumming while Jeremy singing over it. I just feel like the mix of pop punk, and metalcore doesn't mix the correct way on this song. I still have mixed feelings about this song. 4. "Dead and Buried": Possibly being the heaviest song on the album, it starts off with the chugging palm muting as was heard previous on the song before it. The chorus has stronger and darker lyrics, and the notes his are a lot memorable then the song before it. The bridge still has the heavy part of the main riff, and then goes into a soft strumming chorus like thing. And then the regular chorus and then back into the intro/outro again. 5. "Best of Me": Starting out with a nice pop punk lead, and bass riff that doesn't consist of playing constantly. Pre-chorus shines with Jeremy's amazing vocals. Chorus is very catchy and impressionable. The bridge is very well constructed. A repackage of the verses and the chorus together (typical pop-punk vibe) The outro is pretty good and I'm glad they did it the way they did. It's a good way to end it going on into their next song. 6. "I'm Already Gone": This is the first acoustic effort on the album. Typical open chord progression. The pre-chorus and chorus provides a cute and catchy lead guitar in the background. In my opinion, this my least favorite song on the album. I'm not sure why, but it reminds me of Paramore's "The Only Exception." To me, the song just felt rushed. Maybe they were trying to hard to accomplish what they did on their song "If It Means a Lot to You." 7. "Violence (Enough Is Enough)": The heaviest song on the album. The intro is very good with palm muting and the drums. The whole song revolves on the screaming, with the exception of the pre-chorus which is sung. "Violence, give me violence." This song was first released last December, during the whole "2012 end of the world." The song is about how much violence happened in the world during that year. To me, the song is great and really shows the heaviness of the band. 8. "Life @ 11": The song starts with a catchy background riff leading into a nice lead part. The verses have a heavy palm mutting and the same lead guitar in the background. I wish the lead was louder so you could appreciate it more. The chorus comes out with a bang with the typical pop punk guitar chords and Jeremy's catchy vocals. The bridge serves well as a good build up to the final chorus. At first this song wasn't for me, but in the end it's starting to grow on me. 9. "I Surrender": This is my favorite song on the album. The second acoustic song on the album. I personally thought it was overall a lot better compared to "I'm Already Gone." It has good rhythm guitar while the lead is played behind it. The second verse is bass guitar, vocals, drums, acoustic guitar, and then the second part of it introduces the same lead guitar from the first verse. The second chorus has distorted guitars which I enjoyed listening to. The bridge is also constructed well. Great vocals throughout the whole song and the lyrics are great. The bridge shows the potential of both guitarists with the palm muted single noted lead. 10. "Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way": The song is only 2:17 long. It reminds me of a fill in song, just like "We Already Know What You Are," on the bands Homesick album. The guitars present their older sound from their albums For Those Who Have Heart and also And Their Name Was Treason/Old Record. The song is brutal, but like I said previously, I felt the song was just filler. 11. "End of Me": The third acoustic song on the album. The verses is acoustic, and the choruses provide a full band with distortion. The song revolves around the lyrics by Jeremy saying a girl would be the end of him. To me this song was a good way to get from the heaviness of the previous song, and their next song. 12. "The Document Speaks for Itself": Very distorted intro, leading into a buildup from the drums. This song is pretty much dedicated to Terry Brummel, the founder of Victory Records. Just by listening to the lyrics, you feel sympathy from the band. I'm pretty sure the verses maybe direct quotes from Brummel to the band. I thought it was very clever for them to use it into their song. Verses are heavy, choruses have the catchiness from the lyrics. The bridge has the normal metalcore breakdown and serves the song justice. "NO F--KING RESPECT!," is what the song is all about. Great effort by the band, giving it to their "record label." 13. "I Remember": Intro starts out with a neat guitar riff. The verses have palm muting and a great lead of palm muting and hitting the high notes. The chorus is all about the lyrics revolving around all the things that they "remember" from traveling around the world being a band. It's a great ending song for the album. The bridge has acoustic guitars and a good lead. This may be the first time I heard them using natural harmonics on a song in a beautiful way. Another thing is the "documentary" at the end of the song with the band members talking about what they remember. Overall this album is A Day To Remember's strongest effort yet. You can tell that this band is all about their fans, not the money. If the album was lost, I would easily re download it. If they do happen to release another version of it with more songs. I would purchase it also. // 9

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overall: 7.3
Common Courtesy Reviewed by: zef0214, on october 31, 2013
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Sound: For anyone following A Day To Remember for their 10 year career, they know that the past 3 have been extremely tumultuous for the band, but they fought long and hard to release their most recent studio effort: "Common Courtesy." I've received some flak for being too biased in my reviews so I'm going to try to make impartial as possible. ADTR is known for their "unique" blend of pop punk and metalcore (as unique as the 2 genres can get), that being said, there are breakdowns, there are poppy choruses. The overall sound is very erratic from start to finish, this is not a bad thing but something that is more noticeable than previous releases. Instead of individual songs being bipolar, the whole album switches from heavy song, to light song. This is not necessarily a bad thing, depends who is listening I guess. The singer, Jeremy McKinnon, brings his blend of punk/metal vocals to the table once again. This time though you can tell he has done some growing up, the vocals feel restrained and fitting on songs like, "I'm Already Gone," instead of just belting it out on every song, the vocals feel subdued when it feels right. On past releases the screams and or growls were of a low pitch and the sound remains the same save for an extra touch added to them, I think of it as adding "grit," or "distortion" to his harsh vocals. Compared to their last album I feel that the production on this album is better in almost every way. The guitars feel very full, you can hear the bass most times, the drums don't sound overly processed but the clean vocals do. I am more of a fan of raw vocals but, it is nothing that ruins the experience. // 7

Lyrics: I believe one of the main reasons people flock to this band are the way that they connect to the words being said. I know that's why I did. It is extremely cliche for a band in this genre to say that they write about real things, but this feels genuine. Not every song is, "F--K YOU!" or "F--k you, you broke my heart!" There is a wide range of emotions present in the album. On "I'm Already Gone," you get a sense of longing to be home and feeling alone from the group. On other songs like, "Violence" and "Sometimes You're the Hammer, Sometimes You're the Nail," you feel the anguish that the lives they lead has brought upon them. These guys have put their lives into this and are demanding that they be respected. The lyrics feel very reflective and introspective, I feel as if I am reading the diary of the vocalist sometimes. Jeremy McKinnon has matured in his vocal delivery and songwriting and it shows. Not every song has the word "F--k" in it for emphasis, the first song "City of Ocala," is a nice ode to their tiny hometown, documenting what it was like when they were just starting out. There is a lot of that on the record, reminiscing on the beginnings of the band; in "Right Back at It Again," we hear how the band came together and how hard they worked to reach this point in their lives. // 7

Overall Impression: As one of the biggest names in their scene, a lot of people have been waiting for this album to drop. The first thing that comes to my mind when it comes to reviewing it is: safe. It is a very, by-the-books A Day To Remember record. The softer songs are softer the heavy songs are heavier and there are heart-felt lyrics. It is a very solid release by the band and I have enjoyed it so far, but it is a very safe release. You can decide if it is a good or bad thing, I think I am somewhere in the middle in that aspect. It also feels like a return to form, I liked their old heavy stuff, so the heavy portions met my expectations. This album has some magic for sure in it though, despite some of the things I mentioned. Some of my favorites were: "City of Ocala," "Violence," "Sometimes You're the Hammer, Sometimes You're the Nail," "The Document Speaks for Itself," "I Remember." If you are a fan of the band check it out! // 8

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overall: 9
Common Courtesy Reviewed by: Metallidethium, on november 01, 2013
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Sound: I'm a sucker for pop-punk and post hardcore with breakdowns so it's no surprise that I love A Day To Remember as they marry both of these genres relatively perfectly. Recently, my criticism of A Day To Remember is that they can't seem to make songs that are mixed with both genres but rather one song is heavy and one song is pop-punk. This started during Homesick and it still continues here but the quality of those standalone pop-punk songs has vastly improved. Some songs on here are a decent guitar solo from being perfect and some spots are just aching for it but that's never been what A Day To Remember is about so I don't necessarily hold it against them. "End of Me" is a good example of such songs. I also enjoy how personal each song feels, right down to the segments where it's just background talk in the studio. You feel like they united to build this album as a team and made it feel home-y instead of your typical sterile post hardcore release. I even enjoyed listening to the last 5 minutes of "I Remember" which is just basically the band reminiscing about old times. Here is a track by track analysis of the album: 1. "City of Ocala" - The energy of the album begins immediately high with this largely pop-punk number. Everyone will be screaming "F--k Yeah" when they play this live. Ocala being their hometown and this being a song about where they've come from and who they are now makes this a perfect album opener and setlist opener. There's no place like home. 2. "Right Back at It Again" - The opener flows right into this one. A bit heavier with a nice palm-muted intro goes into another pop punk number. Again, the theme is where they've come from and where they are now. Also fitting since it's been a while since they've had a release, they're "right back at it again." 3. "Sometimes You're the Hammer..." - The first breakdown of the album rears it's beautiful head at the beginning of this one, the first heavy song on the album featuring some nice Jeremy screams accompanied by the catchy chorus. A nice soft section in the middle balances it out a bit making this a very complete song and thus one of my favorite so far. 4. "Dead and Buried" - Another heavy hitting song with a catchy chorus... Very typical A Day To Remember feel which is never a bad thing in my book. A nice heavy breakdown occurs towards the end of the song after the bridge with the chorus closing out the song. Very solid song. 5. "Best of Me" - Back to the pop-punk goodness as this track transitions the heavy to the melodic. More about how balanced and complete this album is. So far the most angry lyrics about being dragged down by somebody he trusted.. Lyrics we can all relate to. Certainly an enjoyable track. 6. "I'm Already Gone" - So far from what I've seen, this song has gotten mixed reviews but I personally love it. A nice acoustic ballad about how he's far from home a lot and the struggles that come with that but how you need to push forward and keep your life moving to eventually make your way back home successfully. Definitely lyrics I'm currently relating to a lot. 7. "Violence" - The song we've all been familiar with since the beginning of "Common Courtesy." A heavy, hard-hitting ADTR song in the vein of Mr. Highway's "Thinking About the End." A definite favorite and high point of the highway, even if we're all a bit sick of it by now haha. Breakdown is awesome too. 8. "Life @ 11" - Back to more pop-punk with one of the catchiest songs on the album. I like the part where you hear the voices in his head and Jeremy shouts "STOP!" Another example of how the album is recorded at a personal level. We all have voices telling us the things we hate about ourselves and the situation we're in. Overcoming all of that is one of the biggest challenges in life. "Shake it off go get the things you want." 9. "I Surrender" - Quite possibly my favorite release on the album that doesn't contain a breakdown. Such a catchy chorus and acoustic guitar work overlaid with typical ADTR guitar riffs. It's everything I love about their melodic work. It might come off as cheesy lyrically to some (being about a girl most likely) but I personally enjoy the hell out of it. 10. "Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way" - Easily the heaviest song on the album with the most brutal lyrics. Definitely a throwback to songs like "2nd Sucks" and "1958." Even includes ADTR's classic signature of a catchy line before the brutal breakdown: "You'll live your life as a fucking target! BOOM." 11. "End of Me" - Another ballad, albeit not quite as good to me as "I'm Already Gone" and on more of a negative note. Personally, this is the weakest song on the album to me. As I stated before, there are windows for some good lead guitar work that just goes wasted. I know guitar solos are never something they've been about in the past, but you shouldn't pass up these opportunities. Not a bad song but more like filler to me. Doesn't drag down the album but doesn't enhance it in any way. 12. "The Document Speaks for Itself" - The last heavy song on the album and heavy in the way that has made "ADTR" such a good band over the years. Very catchy chorus as has been the trend. And another signature breakdown with the lyrics "No f--king respect" leading into it. Very enjoyable. More audible speaking at the end of the song again adding a personal touch to the song instead of being too annoying. 13. "I Remember" - Ending the album on a positive note with a song that's reminiscent of "Another Song for the Weekend." When I saw that it was 9 minutes long, I was hoping for an epic song that would actually last that length but the actual song is only 4:25. The rest is basically the band talking about all the good times they've had as a band, which is nice to listen to once, continuing the personal touch of the album, but not something I'll listen to too many more times without hitting the skip button. Having grown up in New Jersey, I always find it interesting when someone from Florida talks about their first experience with snow lol. // 9

Lyrics: "Common Courtesy" handles a wide range of lyrical content. Topics such as leaving home, touring the world as a band, and playing their music for their fans are some of the positive topics touched upon. There are also plenty of negative topics touched upon like world violence, heartbreak, homesickness, death and suicide. But these lyrics relatively well penned and don't come off as cheesy or terse. Ending "Right Back at It Again" with a multi-vocalled, out of key "b-tch" was just funny to me. And in typical A Day To Remember fashion, most of the breakdowns have a catchphrase leading into them like in "Violence (Enough Is Enough)": "What's the world gonna say when I call your bluff, punk?!" and in Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way: "You live your life as a f--king target!" As far as vocals, this is definitely lead singer Jeremy McKinnon's best effort. His screams sound crisp, both highs and lows, and his melodic clean vocals are actually quite dynamic at times, ranging from a quick barking lyric approach in "City of Ocala" to a soft and melodic approach prevalent in songs like "I'm Already Gone," "I Surrender," and "End of Me." Any other vocal additions from the other band members, such as the occasional gang vocal or backup clean/scream, simply adds to the music. // 9

Overall Impression: So, as is my typical disclaimer for albums like this, if you never liked A Day To Remember, metalcore, post-hardcore, or pop-punk, this album is unlikely to change your mind and you'll probably dislike it. But if you're a fan of the band, you'll see how awesome this album is and it was definitely worth the wait. Mostly everyone I've talked to about the album are very positive about it and I definitely think it's their most complete and unique album to date. They seem to have moved over to the pop-punk spectrum over the past 2 or 3 releases dating back to Homesick but there is still some heavy on here and they do it very well. It's my album of the year so far barely nudging out Senses Fail's and The Wonder Years' releases. I hope you all get the same enjoyment out of it. Best Songs: "Sometimes You're the Hammer, Sometimes You're the Nail," "Violence (Enough Is Enough)," "I'm Already Gone," "I Surrender," and "The Document Speaks for Itself." // 9

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