The Get Up Kids, as I established in my review of the later Something To Write Home About, are pretty much genius in my opinion. Barring all minor eps and demos, this is the predecessor to STWHA, but it is truly a different album.
On 4MM, The Get Up Kids have both the mild songs that blow you away with subtle lyrics and great melodies, and harder, faster songs that don't stray too far from the GUK formula that so many love yet compliment them with some great guitar riffs (Washington Square Park).
So, onto the actual review of the album:
We start off with "Coming Clean", a short but powerful song that has some great lyrics. The low harmonies in this song also work very well.
"Don't Hate Me" has a sound that I can't really pinpoint, but I know it sounds like something I've heard before- anyways, it's a great song with a bridge that gets me every time.
"Fall Semester", I believe, is not sung by lead singer Matt Pryor, but I'm not sure. What is really great about this song is that I think that some of the words in here can be applied to our everyday lives- "There's so many other things for me to find out." And I'm sure a lot of people feel this in their lives, and it comes out as a powerful song with a ton of emotion.
"Stay Gold, Ponyboy" is a very good song, but I'll tell the truth- I've never found anything truly special about this besides the lyrics, which I find as some of the strongest on the album.
"Lowercase West Thomas" is a song that at first seems like it ends too soon, but then I realize that it does well at getting the point of the song across- it's really one of my favorites because I'm thinking about one set of lyrics and that set of lyrics is basically the whole song. Very good song overall.
Okay, "Washington Square Park" is the song I really want to talk most about. The opening of this song does not sound like a GUK song- and I love it. It's a fast paced guitar riff that sets up the song perfectly and makes it so much more powerful. The lyrics and the chorus are strong and wow I cannot say enough about the guitar riffs, because I love them. Maybe they don't belong on a GUK album, but hell, they fit very well with the fast pace of this song.
"Last Place You Look" is a nice song but it seems to fall a bit flat in the hooks department, and one of the things I like best about GUK is the way that they can basically make hooks out of anything. However, it's a bit lacking here, but I still really enjoy this song anyway.
"Better Half" is another mellow song that seems like an even slower "Company Dime", except that it has a few more hooks and so it is still very much worth listening to.
"No Love" and "Shorty" feel like they should be #1 and #2 on this album, as they both have great harmonies, and "Shorty" features an exceptional, exceptional guitar part that kicks in after the second verse. Both have great hooks that make them very memorable.
Okay, here's the deal. Even though I can't say enough about WSP, this song actually gets my vote for best song of the album. "Michelle With One L" is an unbelievably sound song lyrically and melodically, and the emotion is so strong that it has become one of my favorite GUK songs. I love this song because it contains so much, and closes a CD that has stayed in my player for a very, very long time.
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