Sound — 6
The Album is produced by John Feldman (produced the Used, lead singer of gold finger) and it echoes a lot of the same type of music that the used put out a year ago. If you look at the title of the songs in the CD, most of them have a title with death, dying or something to do with death in them, and a lot of this album is about death...not very original. It's predictable emocore, but when Dan (lead-singer) screams into the microphone, you can't help but appreciate how much this band wants it. I want to be clear that this CD is nothing new, its all been done before. Emo-Core at its most generic form.
Lyrics — 6
Some of the lyrics are amazingly witty, and some are sooo generic that I almost want to vomit on myself. SOTY echoes the same motifs used by other emo-core/metal/punk bands of the past 5 years and its all mostly about love, love lost, death, life back home, and the typical "back before we were big" songs. Dan Marsala is an amazing vocalist...much like Bert of the Used because he is amazing at switching between his screaming voice to a beautiful one. The only thing that bugs me about Feldman is that he is going out and finding bands to market to a particular type of person that likes a certain type of sound. Story of the Year is sooo different from the Used, but at the same time, you can't help but feel like they have something in common. Possibly just through the producing.
Overall Impression — 8
Most of the songs are very catchy...this was made to be pop...and you can really get into them. I think the album has some sort of intanglible and undescribable quality that made it one of the better alternative albums of 2003. It is a cookie cutter of many bands from the late-nineties and early 2000's, but at the same time, this band sounds sooo hungry. You can't help but keep putting it in the CD player to ask for more. If you're looking for music to blow your brains out, its not here. If you want some catchy emo-core to sit and relax to, and don't mind being tagged a poser, then Story is for you. If you like the Used, you will like this band. But don't be mad at me when you see the starting quarterback of your football team blasting this song out of his camaro when he is driving into the school parking lot...this is pop.