Sound — 9
My first impression upon hearing certain songs leaked from the internet was "wow, this is going to be good". When the album was finally completely leaked on MTV's The Leak, I lost a bit of hope for the album as a whole. It wasn't in true Taking Back Sunday style, and that threw me off a little bit. However, after listening to the album in it's entirety after I purchased it, it was as if I had listened to it in a new light. I enjoyed the musicianship on the album much more than I had given it credit for. Fred Mascherino did such a great job on the last album with the guitar parts, and his addition to the band has not been one that should not be held in low esteem. The opening track, "What's It Feel Like To Be A Ghost?" starts out with a solo guitar riff, then joined in by the whole band. Here is the first taste of the new Taking Back Sunday album, and they don't leave us hanging. The next song, "Liar (It Takes One To Know One)", is one of my personal favorites on the album. The song seems to have a Police-esque guitar in it, as it swells to its explosive chorus. The song's bridge is a short key change, and then returns to it's original key, which is executed nicely. The next song, and first single, entitled "MakeDamnSure" features the typical Taking Back Sunday style vocals, with Lazzara and Mascherino's intertwining vocals. Following this, we hear "Up Against (Blackout)", "My Blue Heaven", and "Twenty-Twenty Surgery", with "My Blue Heaven" being one of my favorites on the album. After we hear these three very upbeat and rocking songs, the next song slows it down with "Divine Intervention". This song seems to be the most change that Taking Back Sunday has taken, seeing as it uses xylophone and what sounds to be muffled, even synthesized, drum beats. In the following song, "Miami", we hear a stunning guitar solo, with a simple breakdown shortly thereafter. The song itself is not too stunning musically, but the syncopation and off beat guitar parts seem to make this song one to remember. The next song, "Error: Operator", is my favorite track on the album. After Taking Back Sunday agreed to release the song on the Fantastic Four soundtrack, it was easy to get a hold of. After falling in love with that version of the song, they surprise us and revamp the song to make it even better than the original version we all grew to love. The bridge, in the middle of the song is changed, and I feel as if for the better. The last song on the album, titled "I'll Let You Live", is a great way to finish off the album. Easily the longest track on the album, its elegant and majestic nature make it one to remember. Taking Back Sunday did not let down with this album. Good work, guys.
Lyrics — 8
My first impression of the lyrics, seeing as "Error: Operator" was the first song I heard from the new album, was that of "They could have done better, but I still like them". After hearing "MakeDamnSure", "Liar (It Takes One To Know One)", and "Up Against (Blackout)", I decided to give the band more credit, which they deserved. I think that the lyrics fit perfectly with the music, seeing as this album's tone seems to be a tad darker than their previous releases. I believe that the compliance of the lyrics and music work together better on this album than ever before. Adam Lazzara's high, screechy vocals seem to fit perfectly on this disc. His ability to scream words at such a high pitch and bring himself down to sing such songs as "Divine Intervention", or, from their 2004 release, "New American Classic", I think that he is a very talented singer for the genre.
Overall Impression — 8
This CD, in my opinion, has been Taking Back Sunday's best effort. Although fans may ridicule it, saying it won't ever live up to "Tell All Your Friends", I believe that their musicianship and overall talent as a band has grown. The most impressive songs on the album, in my opinoin, are the ones that have the most musical talent. I believe that "My Blue Heaven", "Miami", and "Error: Operator" are among the better songs on the album, mainly for their musicianship and structure. I love that this album shows that Taking Back Sunday is growing as a band in talent and in popularity, seeing as this is their first major label debut. To be quite honest, the only thing I didn't like about the album was the simplicity of the acoustic song. After hearing "New American Classic", I was expecting something of the same caliber, using fingerpicking techniques and unconventional chords. If the album were stolen or lost, I would buy a new one. I rushed to buy it on April 25th and would rush to get a new copy.