With the release of their third album Louder Now, the boys from Long Island, Taking Back Sunday, prove that they are all grown up. With smarter lyrics and a tighter sound, the Amityville natives have learned what works best for them since their 2002 debut Tell All Your Friends.
The formula for a memorable album is having a captivating opener and riveting closer with solid tracks sandwiched in between. Producer Eric Valentine, who has worked with Queens of the Stone Age and Third Eye Blind, pushes Taking Back Sunday to the limit and brings them to their full potential creating a timeless album.
“MakeDamnSure,” the first single off of Louder Now, tackles a theme that strings across the whole album: a bittersweet relationship, a tragedy we all seem to struggle with.
Lead vocalist Lazarra sings about a love that could drive him to insanity, with help from guitarist-vocalist Fred Mascherino who adds his vocals throughout the album, as he screams, “I just wanna break you down so badly, well I trip over everything you say-“
The album stems on uncertainty of whether to love or hate in a destructive relationship and who is to blame for its failure.
The track “Divine Intervention” promises to be this album’s “New American Classic,” providing fans with another acoustic song which pulls heart strings along with guitar strings. Lazarra softly sings as he challenges a lover saying, “If you’re calling me out then count me out.” The track “My Blue Heaven” further demonstrates the softer side of the band with tinkling guitars Lazarra admits, “it’s you I can’t deny.”
“Spin” is the complete opposite of the pseudo-love songs. The style can easily be compared to that of early Glassjaw with thrashing guitars, fast paced drumming and Lazarra’s yowling vocals.
A recurrent flaw within this album though is that it has strong songs with weak choruses, and “Twenty Twenty Surgery” and “Miami” fall victim to this. Both seem promising when they start with slicing guitars, thumping bass and strong lyrical content, but fall short as they hit the choruses which seem out of place and awkward.
The album flows beautifully as “I’ll Let You Live” brings the album full circle as Lazarra apologetically confesses with a gasping breath “this is not what you deserve.”
Taking Back Sunday deserves to keep their crown as one of the reigning kings of scream and the album deserves to remain in your stereos for some time to come.