Sound — 8
What Separates Me From You continues A Day To Remember's hybrid pop/punk/metal genre. The sound is familiar to old fans of the band and also presents some new twists. One of these is a leaning more towards the pop punk side of their music than the metal side. However this is not to say that the metal influences are entirely done away with. Tracks "Sticks and Bricks", "2nd Sucks", and "You Be Tails, I'll Be Sonic" are all predominantly metal-sounding. Also, the gang vocals used on their last album, Homesick, are definitely not as frequent, but they're still there. Here is a track listing with explanations of the songs: 1. Sticks and Bricks-opens with growls by vocalist Jeremy McKinnon. This is a song mostly about not letting anything get in the way of their dreams. It's one of the predominantly metal tracks, but features a clean-vocals chorus that is pretty catchy. 2. All I Want- One of the songs released prior to the album's release, it's a song about the reasons why they write their music as well as another song about not letting anything get in the way. It features a pretty cool intro and is one of the more poppy songs. 3. It's Complicated- Opens with a "staticy" guitar part and is definitely poppy and punky. The chorus is pretty catchy and it has some of my favorite lyrics, being about someone changing for the worse and breaking relationships with the singer. This one has some gang vocals at the end. Backed by an acoustic guitar. 4. This Is the House That Doubt Built- About doing what you want no matter what anyone else does or thinks, this one tends to sound sadder than some of the other tracks. I could swear I hear a violin in the back at one part. 5. 2nd Sucks- One of my favorites and one of the heaviest ones on the album, it begins with a huge buildup and the word "Fight" uttered by what sounds like the guy from Mortal Kombat. This song is predominantly screaming and Jeremy's voice has some effects added to it. This seems to be about a failed relationship with someone who thought that the two of them were competing. 6. Better Off This Way- Sounds very punky and is about him asking if who he's talking to would care if he just left their life entirely. This has some screams, but is mostly a pop/punk song. 7. All Signs Point to Lauderdale- About how much he hates Fort Lauderdale, this song has probably the catchiest chorus on the album. It starts with some palm muting, which ADTR has really done much of before, and screams that give a really good dramatic effect. Some of it is repetitive, but the song overall is pretty good. 8. You Be Tails, I'll Be Sonic- First off, weird name for a song. This is a song about him second guessing leaving a girlfriend. This is another mostly metal song that also has a clean vocals chorus. 9. Out of Time- Starts with palm-muted chords and is about him regretting leaving someone, but not being able to get away from their memory. This is a classic ADTR blend of punk and metal, but without screams. 10. If I Leave- starts with this really cool clean guitar part followed closely by "Let's Go!" screamed. It's not as an effective album finisher as If It Means a Lot to You, but it's really crisp. The song is about him realizing what it means to let go of this certain someone and realizing that they'll both regret it even though it may hurt. It ends with the clean intro followd by screams and a held out chord with some computer effects in the back. It makes for an optimistic ending.
Lyrics — 9
Overall, I saw the lyrics as pretty intricate, more so than previous albums. Jeremy McKinnon conveys more than one thought/emotion in each of the songs, which is pretty cool. There are a couple of cliche phrases that could be improved like "My heart is filled with hate," but for the most part they are pretty original lyrics. Jeremy has definitely improved his voice as well as his screaming, and it sounds much better. While he is not the best vocalist in the world, his voice goes well with the music. My personal favorite lyrics are "Move on with your friends like you ever had them," from "It's Complicated". It makes me laugh a little how blunt he can be. I also like how they made his voice get really low in the one part of "2nd Sucks".
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, this was a pretty good album. However, it was not as good as Homesick. The best songs were probably "All Signs Point to Lauderdale", "2nd Sucks", "Sticks and Bricks", and "If I Leave". I would have liked the album to be a bit more heavy, but that doesn't really matter all that much. The mainly pop/punk songs were all good and "All Signs to Lauderdale" has probably the catchiest chorus ever (well, maybe not ever, but...). However, this was well worth the purchase and will go in my collection of favorite albums. Great work ADTR.