Explains It All review by Four Year Strong

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  • Released: Jul 21, 2009
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.7 (36 votes)
Four Year Strong: Explains It All
1

Sound — 8
Four Year Strong have been around for a few years now, playing pop punk the way they want. Their sound features pop punk power chords with some hardcore-like breakdowns (dubbed 'happy hardcore' by some). In order to show some of the band's influences, they have released a collection of covers from the 1990's. The 90's is a time in music that influenced a lot of the current bands today that have younger members, and Four Year Strong wanted to revive some notable songs from this time period. The album features covers from bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Third Eye Blind, No Doubt, Nirvana, and Everclear, which happens to be the first band covered on the album. 'So Much For The Afterglow' opens the album immediately grabbing the listeners attention, combining an already catchy song with the band's memorable pop punk chords. The next song on the album 'Story Of The Girl' (originally by Nine Days) is one of those 'one hit wonders' that most people remember from the 90's. The band's rendition is pretty similar to the original song, but you can tell that the band threw in their own twists in the sound to make it more relatable for their fans. One of the best covers on the album is 'Ironic' (originally by Alanis Morrissette), that starts out similar to the orginal song, soft and calm, then picks up to a faster pop punk sound. The cover is pretty nicely done compared to some of the other songs on the album. The band also brought some guest vocalists for this album including Keith Buckley (from Every Time I Die), Peter 'JR' Wasilewski and Buddy Schaub (from Less Than Jake), and Travis McCoy (from Gym Class Heroes). Travis McCoy really shines in the cover of 'Fly' (originally by Sugar Ray) adding his own personal touch to the track's spoken parts. This album features some great covers including 'Bullet With Butterfly Wings' (The Smashing Pumpkins), 'Semi-Charmed Life' (Third Eye Blind), 'Spiderwebs' (No Doubt), and 'In Bloom' (Nirvana). All the tracks are done really well for a cover album, and each song features its own twist from Four Year Strong. The only problem that I see with this album is that it isn't original songs from the band, though it leaves listeners wanting a new album.

Lyrics — 7
The lyrics of the album aren't exactly original, but the lyrics of the songs are memorable. As for the singing, the vocals of Four Year Stron are either something you love or hate. The band utilizes duel vocalists on all their songs, sometimes throwing in some screams from their keyboardist. The vocals aren't perfect, but in an age of auto-tune, it's nice to hear some vocals that aren't digitalized.

Overall Impression — 9
A great band covering great songs, what more could you ask for? 'Explains It All' is a stellar collection of songs covered by a great band. If you haven't listened to Four Year Strong, make sure you check them out as they gain popularity by the day. With a good line up of bands covered and some notable guest vocalists, this album is great for any 90's fan or even a pop punk listener in general. Make sure you check out this album or the band if you want something a little different from your normal listening or just want a little bit of nostalgia. Four Year Strong will definitely be getting more notable time as they get set to release a new album in the next several months.

25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    sprkidjar
    supergerbil wrote: The guitar playing is nothing but boring.
    right, cause music is only about having interesting guitar parts...
    5150addict
    I think you're all looking into this way too hard ahaha. they were either approached by their record company to do this album or it was their idea. I dont really know, but either way, they're a super fun band. I dont know how you could not like this band. go listen to chevelle and jack off in the corner i guess.
    supergerbil
    I just listened to the bullet with with butterfly wings and the vocals are attrocious. Its disgusting in fact. I feel like smashing pumpkins have been brutally raped by this band. The guitar playing is nothing but boring. They totally messed up the bends in this song. Never buy this album.
    elleild
    This cd really grows on you, i like the songs on this album and as mentioned before its about having fun. Really hope thier next album will be out soon!
    JChrist521
    i honestly thought it was obvious that they made this album for the hell of it and is supposed to be more fun than "musically advanced" so i'm kinda taken aback by all the hating on the album going on. anyway, i'm also disappointed that no one has mentioned roll to me, i was like 4 or 5 when flipper came out and that was one of the first songs i really really liked (it was on the soundtrack if you don't already know) but other than that song, i either really like the songs or i don't listen to them. the songs i do think are well done are (in no particular order) ironic, semi charmed life, fly, she's so high, and absolutely (story of a girl). i think the breakdown they added to "absolutely" is awesome and semi-charmed life is layered almost to the point of hilarity (but i like it) but yeah, to those of you getting mad at the musicianship of this album, they wanted it to be fun so (repeating we'realltoblame) chill and enjoy it for what it is.
    RichRman
    I think it would have came out alot stronger if it was an EP of even a mini-EP i.e. one to five tracks. Some tracks like Semi Charmed Life are just great but as others said some are woeful. A new original album probably would have been much better.
    We'realltoBlame
    The idea sorta started as a joke on myspace a while back if I recal correctly...and then they actually did it. 0_o I was hoping for a new album, but this is still fun. Also, they played it in their own style, the songs weren't meant to be carbon copies of the orginals. So just chill a little.
    Tapping_Ninja
    .... Considering their cover of "Love Song" was purely amazing.... I have to say this was a very sad atempt....
    syfg91
    Soozy wrote: I don't understand this scene whatsoever. The guys are all tattooed and hardcore, then they bust out the synths and power pop. I saw them in the spring and it was just like one massive contradiction put to music. Anyways... This cd is mediocre at best, I'm not even sure why they bothered with it since it's pretty hard to live up to the originals with the majority of these songs. Most of these are classics. The cover of In Bloom is pitiful. Ironic and Semi Charmed Life are standouts IMO. This is a poor attempt at trying to cashout on the culture clash that New Found Glory did much much better.
    are people who play pop punk not allowed to be tattooed then :S??? what a stupid thing to say foool
    Razgriz_101
    awesome band live not too keen on some of the covers on explains it all though,still love em to death going to see em a 2nd time in October better band live than on CD i can tell you that.
    S.A.D
    medio-core probly shouldn't say that till ive heard the album but i can imagine
    BulletMaximus
    I love Four Year Strong, and Rise or Die Trying is one of my favorite albums ever. But they shouldn't have done this for their second album, at all. Maybe if they had already put out a few albums before, it might have been a good idea. But I don't plan on buying this album and now I have to likely wait two more years to hear some original music from them
    Just to let you know. they Explains it all is their third album. Obviously must not have accounted for 'It's our time' released om 05. This cover album isn't great IMO.
    jamisonsalamand
    And to the review writer, "duel vocalists" isn't quite the correct term. It's not a battle. They're called vocal harmonies, just so you know
    jamisonsalamand
    I love Four Year Strong, and Rise or Die Trying is one of my favorite albums ever. But they shouldn't have done this for their second album, at all. Maybe if they had already put out a few albums before, it might have been a good idea. But I don't plan on buying this album and now I have to likely wait two more years to hear some original music from them
    Gibsonbender
    You should listen to their album "Rise or Die Trying", in particular the song "beatdown in the key of happy". Tell me that guitar is boring
    Soozy
    I don't understand this scene whatsoever. The guys are all tattooed and hardcore, then they bust out the synths and power pop. I saw them in the spring and it was just like one massive contradiction put to music. Anyways... This cd is mediocre at best, I'm not even sure why they bothered with it since it's pretty hard to live up to the originals with the majority of these songs. Most of these are classics. The cover of In Bloom is pitiful. Ironic and Semi Charmed Life are standouts IMO. This is a poor attempt at trying to cashout on the culture clash that New Found Glory did much much better.
    mikko 9119
    mikko 9119 wrote: this, to me, was probably their best work, but i totally agree. their cover of Spiderwebs was just bad, not good in any way. Bullets was nasty also. But as the review said, Ironic wasn't too bad! imo these guys should stick to originals. when it comes to covers, NFG are far better, especially with song choice
    eh sorry i meant wasn't their best work, not "was their best work"
    imsimon
    I just wanna point out that I love FYS, and they're actually cool guys to hang out with too, but this covers album was a bad idea
    mikko 9119
    -tempest- wrote: dancesisidance wrote: Mediocre at best i think this band is mediocre at best IMO =/
    this, to me, was probably their best work, but i totally agree. their cover of Spiderwebs was just bad, not good in any way. Bullets was nasty also. But as the review said, Ironic wasn't too bad! imo these guys should stick to originals. when it comes to covers, NFG are far better, especially with song choice
    -tempest-
    dancesisidance wrote: Mediocre at best
    i think this band is mediocre at best IMO =/