Motion City Soundtrack - Even If It Kills Me (Cover Artwork)

Motion City Soundtrack

Motion City Soundtrack: Even If It Kills MeEven If It Kills Me (2007)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: KirbyPuckettKirbyPuckett
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I am quite disappointed with the new Motion City Soundtrack album Even If It Kills Me. If you've known me for the early parts of this decade, you'll know how much I hyped this band up when they were a young unsigned act out of Minnesota. Now they're one of the biggest bands on Epitaph and the kids a.
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I am quite disappointed with the new Motion City Soundtrack album Even If It Kills Me. If you've known me for the early parts of this decade, you'll know how much I hyped this band up when they were a young unsigned act out of Minnesota. Now they're one of the biggest bands on Epitaph and the kids are eating up their infectious hooks and melodies. I'm not bitter because they're not my little band anymore -- I always saw them destined for bigger things and I was a fan of their sophomore release Commit This to Memory, which propelled them to new heights. Even If It Kills Me certainly sounds as if the band has progressed and matured, but it's missing that distinguishable spark, the charm that made them so creative and fun.

The album opens firing on all cylinders with the ripping "Fell in Love Without You"; it vaguely reminds me of a Descendents song but with some of the craziest synth parts Motion City have ever placed in a song. Aside from that and lead single "This Is for Real," I can hardly picture myself dancing to these 13 tracks. "This Is for Real" is your standard MCS song: upbeat, an infectious chorus, captivating breaks, quirky lyrics, and the synth part is ridiculously catchy. "It Had to Be You" follows; it starts slow and rises, but plateaus too early. You can see where the boys wanted to go with it, but it falls short of its destination. Similar descriptions can be applied to "Last Night" with its keys paying homage to the Get Up Kids or late-comer "Point of Extinctions"'s lack of a valuable chorus and verses that are stuck in neutral. "Hello Helicopter" is a rare Motion City song that has me questioning why it was included on the album, as opposed to a B-side or better yet, scrapped on the recording room floor.

Even If It Kills Me isn't completely terrible though. Several songs may not deliver at full force, but there are certain parts that relay MCS's genius. Take "Antonia" for example, a simple, playful song that's nothing to brag about, but the moment Jesse Johnson's synthesizer hits you'll remember why you first fell in love with this Minneapolis quintet.

Justin Pierre's lyrics aren't quite what they used to be, though. The title track embarrassingly uses "‚?¶and I'm too tired to go to sleep / tonight / and I'm too weak to follow dreams / tonight..." The zany-haired frontman's lyrical style is generally laced with slick pop culture references and he intelligently plays with words sometimes; for example, on the aforementioned "Antonia" he brilliantly paints a picture of a girl while carefully crooning "She's always eating Captain Crunch / She sings a lot of Ben Folds Five / She's scared to death of cobra snakes / Just like Indiana Jones." It's trouble-free, cute, effective, and shares similar vibes to "Perfect Teeth" from the re-issue of their debut LP I Am the Movie.

Motion City Soundtrack's third album Even If It Kills Me may not deliver effectively at all times, but there are some tracks and parts hidden in the songs that still showcase the band's sincerity and genius. If you're a fan of the band, it's still worth a few repeat listens; however, if they haven't done anything for you yet, don't expect this album to be the one that changes your opinion.


People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundMotion City Soundtrack - My Dinosaur LifeThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldStreetlight Manifesto - Everything Goes NumbThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Motion City Soundtrack - Commit This To MemoryMotion City Soundtrack - Even If It Kills MeThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimThe Lawrence Arms - Cocktails And DreamsThe Bronx - The Bronx (2003)

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
aaron_07 (October 4, 2007)

a agree with the review. i was dissapointed. ive only had the album for a little over a week though, so maybe it will change..but im not sure.

im trying to listen to it to get used to it, but its not grabbing me. theres a few really good tracks...but then again alot are mediocre.

its ok, but yeah, dont judge them if youve only heard this album. older albums are better

kellymae (October 3, 2007)

I completely agree....although like others I have been caputred by the floaty verses and emotionally hard hitting lyrics of "Broken Heart"

drewshaw (September 30, 2007)

great review. i totally agree. i was expecting greatness and was delivered average.. :( bummer

TheKidsSuck (September 29, 2007)


c'mon, now someone give me crap for that typo

TheKidsSuck (September 29, 2007)

Everybody needs to get off their "in on the first album" high horse with this band. This album is incredible, it was produced perfectly, and it will only make them bigger....which is the goal of any band despite what they may say or what you "true" fans may with on them.

IanIsSuperRad (September 29, 2007)

Justin Pierre needs to start doing meth again. His albums are boring as fuck when he's sober.

i-type-poorly (September 28, 2007)

Songwriting is the only thing holding this band back. When they're not trying to be hopeless romantics, this album has some good tunes. Nix the Dawson's Creek shit. Even the last album had a few clever neurotic songs like "Better Open The Door" and "Everything is Alright". Can't say there are any ones like that here. I have to scramble the bad lyrics in my head and just enjoy the music.

fallingupwards84 (September 28, 2007)

one of the few songs on this album that match the greatness of IATM and CTTM is "Where I Belong", i have to admit its catchy

damnitsderek (September 28, 2007)

Much better than the last review. I finally listened to this whole album a couple days back, and it's uncharacteristically boring.

fallingupwards84 (September 28, 2007)

the worst part of this album are the vocals... very weak, almost lazy sounding

Paulrulzdood (September 28, 2007)

yea I agree pretty much with you exactly as usual Kirby. I too thought "commit" was their best work and their debut blew me away, I thought it was the best thing Epitaph had put out in years. This one...so hyped, so anticipated, perhaps that's why they didn't quite deliver under pressure. or you can blame it on Justin's addiction battle but that's crap, there's plenty of bands out there battling addictions and making incredible music, especially if you're just a booze hound; shit look how functional of alchoholics the larry arms are.

i digress, back to the album, so yea, the first 5 songs are the best, all are above average, have strong arrangements, vocals, chorus's and although not as good of lyrics or quite as rockin' as their first 2 albums, sill pretty stellar first half of the CD until the first dud comes along "finish what you start" a song about writers block (note: songs about writers block are almost always bad).

then track 7 is a completely out of place, shoud-have-been-bside piano ballad that goes nowhere. i agree that "hello hellicopter" is one of the worst songs they've written, it's drawn out, repititive, not catchy and terrible cheez lyrics....I think it's about how mankind is uncaring as some sort of metaphor for blackhawks or something..."blackhawks over LA" works better. 10-12 are completely forgettable other than the classic MCS pop culture goofball dork lyrics to antonia and the last song has a pretty strong chorus...but it's about battling addiction and I just don't care man.

oh well. fuck it, at least a bunch of good ska bands delivered the goods this year.


oneborneveryminute (September 28, 2007)

You forgot to mention how the songs are so "emo". I'm not the biggest fan of the term, but upon listening originally, I find a lot of references to lost love and heartache. Even within the titles. What happened to "boombox generation"? I like MCS when they had more fun. I find this album tries too hard to hit upon a serious side of them. One that they probably don't really posess. You can probably thank the Epitaph influence for that. $ell $ell $ell.

Swook (September 28, 2007)

You write some rad reviews...I love your style of writing. Just had to feed your ego...thanks

maverick (September 28, 2007)

Much closer to the mark than the last review was.


fallingupwards84 (September 28, 2007)

Archangel - you've been around here long enough to know that this site will often times post different reviews of the same album

Fell In Love Without You sounds like the Descendents?? what in the hell gave you this idea

dusticles (September 28, 2007)

to the person below me:

amazing to get more than one opinion isn't it? look up how may lawrence arms reviews there are.

Archangel (September 28, 2007)

Didn't someone already review this?

red_eye_inc (September 28, 2007)

There's no "punch" to this album. The best thing about the first one was that he had the high clean voice but the music was chaotic and aggressive at times. Without that dichotomy, these guys are sunk.

GlassPipeMurder (September 28, 2007)

i like "Hello Helicopter"...i think this is a pretty good CD, the problem is Justin's melodies seem a bit flat compared to their previous stuff.

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