My Dinosaur Life review by Motion City Soundtrack

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  • Released: Jan 19, 2010
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (33 votes)
Motion City Soundtrack: My Dinosaur Life
1

Sound — 10
This album was written by the five members of Motion City Soundtrack, produced by Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 fame, and mixed by the legendary Andy Wallace. If that isn't enough to describe just how undeniably accessible and fun "My Dinosaur Life" is, then I must continue. This album seems to find Motion City Soundtrack coming through a difficult time, but with a but sunnier outlook than that of their previous album, "Even If It Kills Me". The opening track, "Worker Bee", is not a typical super-fast sugar rush like the listener may be expecting if they are familiar with this band. It is, comparatively, a mid-tempo track in this context. It still has the quality that makes it perfect to open the gates on a great pop-rock album, and sets the tone for a bumpy yet enjoyable ride. "Her Words Destroyed My Planet", if I had to wager, will be recognized as a big hit sooner rather than later. If you don't believe me, watch the video. Try not to have flashbacks to the memorable Fall Out Boy video for "Dance, Dance". I dare you. "Disappear" may be the angriest track this band have ever released, or at least the most frenetic. The vocals sound like a panic attack that somehow managed to find its way to a microphone. Motion City Soundtrack shines brightly when they lay their hearts on the line. "Stand Too Close" will prove this, if you don't believe me. If you don't wistfully recall some lost love or recover a deep-seated pain from listening to "Skin and Bones", you're a robot, and in the words of William Murderface, robots are NOT to be trusted. The sound of this album has all of the guitar, synth and drums that you expect from this band. But as a fan, and a musician who started on four strings, I urge the listener to dig deep and appreciate the deftness of Matt Taylor's bass playing. Taylor's developing skill certainly anchors the sound of this album.

Lyrics — 9
Justin Pierre is a master lyricist not because he paints an abstract and dark canvas of enigmatic poetry. He is a master of his role as main lyric writer for Motion City Soundtrack because he tells his story with brutal honesty, down to every anal-retentive detail of whatever inspires the track in question. Whether it is the disillusioned but hopeful spirit conveyed in the key lines of opening track "Worker Bee" (I've been a good little worker bee / I deserve a gold star"), the pop-culture references that this band have become known for ("Her Words Destroyed My Planet", "Stand Too Close"), or the hilariously and nonchalantly profane "@!#?@!", the lyrics never let up in tone. My only gripe is that for a guy who claims to be sober and clean, Mr. Pierre seems to have a continuing fixation on drugs, evidenced in "Delirium". It's still a catchy and memorable track, but how many times can one man beat the same dead horse?

Overall Impression — 10
Is there a number higher than 10 that I can choose for this category? Honestly, this is my favorite Motion City Soundtrack album since the beginning of their career. "My Dinosaur Life" has established that not only are this group of outcast musicians and misfit Midwesterners catchy, but they are competent. Motion City Soundtrack has made an album that plays to every strong point of every note or lyric that this quintet have previously put to celluloid or computer. It shoe-gazes without being overly self-aware. It is bouncy, bouyant, and I can safely say it is brilliant.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    TragedyGuide
    when all is said and done, motion city soundtrack will go down as one of the most underrated bands of their time. while all these bands like the maine and all time low completely ruin pop punk and get popular in the process, bands like motion city soundtrack remind us that pop punk once used to be great.
    ZZZombieChomp
    I agree, the cover art sucks ass. But I guess that's not what I buy cds for! Can't wait to get this one, especially if it's anything like Commit This to Memory.
    awisinger
    I got the album and agree with you. I found a majority of the tracks very good but agree completely with the song Delirium. I like the mix of songs on it. I must say though I am not a huge fan of the album title and cover art but that's just me. I don't think I would have rated the album that high but this is attempting to go back to their roots with Commit This To Memory. Recommend listening to it online before buying it.
    Hasok
    one of the best pop punk bands... going to listen this album right now
    As cold aS iCeE
    They really have shown an amazing evolution. I just wish they had kept Johnson to do a little more synth, some of the stuff that made them really stand out, they had great synth lines but that's kind of gone. either way, this album is excellent, you can definitely hear Hoppus' influence in this, especially in the bass lines :]
    NemX162
    For whatever reason I never really got into their last album. I hope this one brings me back to them.
    ILIKEMUSICALOT
    awisinger wrote: I got the album and agree with you. I found a majority of the tracks very good but agree completely with the song Delirium. I like the mix of songs on it. I must say though I am not a huge fan of the album title and cover art but that's just me. I don't think I would have rated the album that high but this is attempting to go back to their roots with Commit This To Memory. Recommend listening to it online before buying it.
    There roots would be I Am The Movie which is definitely their best album and one I enjoy thoroughly from start to finish. Commit To This Memory was a bit of a letdown after being a fan of I Am The Movie for so long. Their was a certain part of their sound that they dropped when they got with their major label and recorded Commit.
    JS5150
    I love Motion City mainly because they're different from most of the sludge that comes from other bands in the genre. This album reminds me much more of the latter. They killed the moog and Justin seems to be doing much more screaming than singing. I will still buy it and listen to it more, but the initial listen tells me it won't touch Commit This To Memory or Even If It Kills Me (Which I loved even though most view it as the weak link). P.S. I love the title and the cover art.
    NemX162
    ^ I love the cover art and title too; I don't see whats not to like about it!
    ashowe
    ILIKEMUSICALOT wrote: awisinger wrote: I got the album and agree with you. I found a majority of the tracks very good but agree completely with the song Delirium. I like the mix of songs on it. I must say though I am not a huge fan of the album title and cover art but that's just me. I don't think I would have rated the album that high but this is attempting to go back to their roots with Commit This To Memory. Recommend listening to it online before buying it. There roots would be I Am The Movie which is definitely their best album and one I enjoy thoroughly from start to finish. Commit To This Memory was a bit of a letdown after being a fan of I Am The Movie for so long. Their was a certain part of their sound that they dropped when they got with their major label and recorded Commit.
    Commit This To Memory was released on Epitatph. While Epitaph is a well-established label, they aren't exactly Virgin or Capitol. So no, it wasn't released on a major label and MCS did not do what you're hinting at. Don't be that guy, dude.