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Taking Back Sunday - New Again (Cover Artwork)

Taking Back Sunday

Taking Back Sunday: New AgainNew Again (2009)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Like so many peers and predecessors, Taking Back Sunday have long suffered as victims of the first album shadow, but one can chalk up some bona fide criticisms as to why they could never match the moments that made 2002's Tell All Your Friends a practical emo classic for the current decade. Losing g.
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Like so many peers and predecessors, Taking Back Sunday have long suffered as victims of the first album shadow, but one can chalk up some bona fide criticisms as to why they could never match the moments that made 2002's Tell All Your Friends a practical emo classic for the current decade. Losing guitarist/vocalist John Nolan and struggling to find a similarly successful dynamic in replacement Fred Mascherino? A compelling argument. Leaning too heavily on repetition and producing a treacherously top-heavy album in 2004's Where You Want to Be? Maybe. But 2006's major label debut, Louder Now was a step in the right direction. It was a versatile and momentarily aggressive release, retaining a certain sense of unique melody and seeming to better channel that special something than the band had done in four years. The problem now, is, they're falling upon its same tricks without trying to develop it further.

Let it be known: New Again's songs are decently well-written. They're slick, solid pop-rock slabs, for the most part. There's nothing overly extravagant about them, nor are they tainted by gimmickry; their quality rises just above pedestrian enough to be enjoyable. But one would think that a regiment change in production might overhaul the sound, but it only ends up finding David Kahne (who does 10 of the 11 tracks) coat New Again with a generally generic hard rock tone. One would also imagine that another major lineup overhaul would transform things. Facing New York, the band guitarist/vocalist Matt Fazzi derived from, put out some weirdly ambitious and style-hopping albums with him, but now it seems that maybe Fazzi was the one restraining that band from going completely off the edge. Because, frankly, New Again is nowhere near any sort of edge.

The opener and title track unfurls an overly simple and mildly fuzzy bassline as the album's first few seconds, and it's not the most promising start. But the chorus is solid and begs, in the least, an acknowledging singing-along of it. And that's largely the territory New Again stakes out: sterilized, somewhat mediocre songwriting saved by enough bubbles bearing engaging tidbits to keep it just worthwhile.

Portions of the pre-chorus in "Sink Into Me" are OK but sound a bit like a second-rate Taking Back Sunday cover band, while the first three songs on the album generally share the same sort of nervous, stuttering musicality. "Summer, Man" is essentially a less whiny redux of "Miami" (Louder Now's third-quarter flub) and buries a semi-interesting riff amid guitars that thump along entirely too much to give the song any greater of an impact. The percussive work in "Swing" is tight and intricate, but other than a second or so of 'umph' and another of restrained sneering in frontman Adam Lazzara's voice, everything else is kinda tossed off. "Where My Mouth Is" is fairly groan-worthy WB fare (thanks, Matt Squire), while "Cut Me Up Jenny"'s got a few slightly dynamic moments around the chorus that could've been fleshed out for better form. Besides that, the second half doesn't quite come alive until Lazzara's fairly vicious line in closer "Everything Must Go" with that sass and crack in his voice ("You quote the good book / when it's convenient!") -- reportedly about ex-girlfriend and Eisley guitarist Chauntelle DuPree.

Taking Back Sunday's fourth album has definite patches of memorability, but some pretty forgettable blotches, too. New Again? Hardly.

STREAM
New Again
Sink Into Me
Where My Mouth Is
Everything Must Go

 

 
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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.
themagnetc (April 7, 2010)

hoverstreet: "This album is great. This band keeps getting better and better." 5 stars... wow bro.

paulrulzdood (September 28, 2009)

and Scruffy, the Stryder fucking sucked compared to TAYF. i mean, if you really think "my plastic you" or "11:11" contain better lyrics than the material on "TAYF" then you are tripping balls.

you know who was good though that did this sort of thing? Fairweather.

Paul

paulrulzdood (September 28, 2009)

Scruffy, I was 22 when Tell All Your Friends came out in 2002 and I loved it, it was arguably my favorite album of 2002, right up there with "apathy and exhaustion", "houston, we have a drinking problem", "Situationist Comedy" and Brand New "your favorite weapon".

I haven't cared much for anything they've put out since, and didn't even bother to check out this album other than the first single, which sucked.

so yea, i'm in the OMGZ TAYF ruled but everything else they've done sucks crowd, and no, i wasn't a dumb high-school kid at the time.

i was a dumb college kid instead. and it was 2002, and i was really feeling the first wave of this kind of emo-core stuff, the first Used album, Thursday, Thrice, Finch and TBS fit right in.

I remember loving it because of the lyrics, duel vocals and the music being a mix of like old Saves the Day and Thursday. i think they lost a ton of their appeal to me when John left and the lyrics subsequently got more generic and repetitive, the duel vocals got crappier with crappier dudes performing them, and this sub-genre or style of music itself got played out after a few years.

so there you go.

Paul

Rodeo (September 28, 2009)

Funny that this record is getting love here. Over on AbsolutePunk this is the most hated record of the decade (next to Brokencyde).

hooverstreet (September 28, 2009)

This album is great. This band keeps getting better and better.

aaronsuspect (September 28, 2009)

"Miami" was the third quarter flub!? Easily the best song on the album dude. Damn...

iJackSparrow (September 27, 2009)

To Hank Scorpio:

You're leaving the rivalry do the talking for you. I can honestly see TBS been influenced by Cursive on this record, but no way in hell it sounds like a ripping off. Frodus and Radiohead are influences on Thrice's Beggars, and no way in hell it sounds like a ripping off. Now, Daisy, anyone not perceiving how much they're ripping off Nirvana and Modest Mouse doesn't know shit about music.

I love both bands, but comparing New Again with Daisy isn't even fair. Daisy is the biggest failure of the decade; this record is one of the best records out this year. And it isn't only me talking this, reviewers, fans approval and sell numbers are all backing me up.

What Brand New do have going for him is an extremely vocal fanbase capable of saying the most insane things to back up their point, but if you show New Again and Daisy to anyone with knowledge about music besides this decade you'll get an overall positive response to New Again, not so much for Daisy.

And I agree with the dude that said below that people overrate TAYF. This record is way more complete than their first one, if you or anyone have a problem to find this "memorable" or more memorable than Daisy, well, it's not my problem. I know my shit when it comes to music, and I've been a reader of this website and others since ages. I've been around when Nirvana released In Utero and loved because it was so unique and defying back then. While I'm seeing a band growing up with New Again, I'm seeing a band regressing with Daisy. But to each his/her own.

HankScorpio (September 27, 2009)

To iJackSparrow:

First of all, TBS is pretty much ripping off Cursive on this one, so your argument about not ripping someone off is completely off-base. Now, I like the record, but there is no way in HELL this is more memorable than Daisy. All the songs sound pretty much the same, good or not. Now you may not like Daisy (which I can understand, it took me some time to fully appreciate it, even as a rabid BN fan). But those tunes are actual songs, written with care, and undeniably unique. I can't remember a single track off this one, save for "Sink Into Me", and that's because it was the single. I just listened to it yesterday, and also earlier in the week (and many times before that). When both bands emerged, I was the biggest fan of both of them (TBS was even my first show). I could now take or leave them, but BN is still in my top five, and has released some incredible albums.

iJackSparrow (September 27, 2009)

I've sent my review. I won't be discussing my points about this record here, but the fact you're reviewing this after Daisy still is hillarious.

This is so much better than Daisy that hurts.

inagreendase (September 27, 2009)

This record is out for ages, why now to publish a review? I wasn't sent this album until a month ago or so.

iJackSparrow (September 27, 2009)

I'm siding with Scott Heisel's review on this one. This is arguably their best record yet, and I have written an in depth review about it if you want to discuss my viewings about this one I'd be glad to discuss it.

I just think it's kind of a douche move that the same guy who reviewed Daisy a few days ago is the same one reviewing New Again right afterwards. This record is out for ages, why now to publish a review? Eh, I guess the old rivalry between the fanbases is still alive and kicking. About that, this album is way more memorable than Daisy, and it shows a band maturing and perfecting their own style, not ripping off other bands.

RedElephant (September 27, 2009)

so has this band just entirely dropped the whole duel vocals aspect of them?

that was always part of their whole appeal to me.. but it's like they've progessively gotten worse and worse. probably due to the fact that they've been focusing on Adam more with each release.

colin (September 26, 2009)

i was scruffy. like two months or something i think, but i was.

DrGunn (September 26, 2009)

Truth.

scruffy (September 26, 2009)

Seriously, I want to take a poll.

Is there anyone who is part of the "Tell All Your Friends is fucking awesome OMZG you don't even know, doodz" crowd who was even out of high school when it was released?

Because that album is terrible off-key vocals and out of tune guitars, with any of the "emotion" anyone ever attributes to it being a whiny high schooler upset over girls or stupid high school bullshit that has no worth other than nostalgia to anyone even slightly over the age of 18. And if you like that shit, The Stryder or old Brand New blew that album out of the water and left it to die anyway. I tried to like it. I had friends who sent me the album and encouraged me, that I would "get it" if I listened to it enough.

Not a fan of much of their stuff, but the first album is terrible in every conceivable way an album could be.

SKAtepunk (September 26, 2009)

Posting the typical "the first album was great the rest suck" comment.

Doctormistersir (September 26, 2009)

The only song I really found enjoyable on this album was "Cut me Up Jenny" the rest were forgettable, It's not absolutely horrible, but the record just doesn't have a lot of appeal to me.

friokir (September 26, 2009)

that last "paragraph" and especially that last "witty" question-answer combo is pretty bad.

HankScorpio (September 25, 2009)

I used to love this band. What made TAYF so great was its raw emotion and brutally honest lyricism. Plus, it didn't sound clean, which IS a plus coming from this band. The style that these guys play in needs to come out dirty and a little sloppy to have any effect. Now, I do think this album was a step up from the last two (which had some killer tracks, but mostly just filler), at least in the sense that it's consistently kinda good. But it's still not great by any means. They need to get the raw shit back.

NovaPulse (September 25, 2009)

I think TBS need to take a lesson from brand new on how to stay relevant after you've released an album that helped define a genre...

sundowning10 (September 25, 2009)

I really only listen to Everything Must Go off of this album, but i fucking love that song. so basically i only like this album because of that.

millslane (September 25, 2009)

some great songs with a few fillers. i agree that they are playing it too safe on this album

fattony (September 25, 2009)

Listened to this twice and the title track was the only thing that stuck with me. These guys get increasingly boring with each passing album.

NewKid (September 25, 2009)

I think this album was a step up from their work with Fred. Their last two records had more of a modern rock sound than I believe this one does.

Eric

badseed (September 25, 2009)

The fact that this came out in June and is only now getting reviewed speaks volumes about how little anyone cares about TBS any more.

paulrulzdood (September 25, 2009)

i was a huge fan of "tell all your friends" (as was most everyone else interested in this type of music), but they've steady gone down hill since, I didn't even bother to check this one out after hearing the mediocre lead-sing "sink into me", featuring the most repetitive and generic lyrics in any TBS song to date.

and Adam just grates on my nerves. his stage presence, his whiny-vocals, I have trouble remembering what it was about them that appealed to me so much just 6,7 years ago.

insinceredave (September 25, 2009)

Blackjaw - An 8! Come one, its not worth anywhere near that.

Its just not an interesting record.

Heh ho.

Blackjaw_ (September 25, 2009)

Some of the songs are pretty dull, but I like the album overall.

Piata (September 25, 2009)

Did nothing for me. At least Louder Now had a few songs worth listening to. This is an album you listen to once so you know to never listen to it again.

danperrone (September 25, 2009)

not a great record but i still really like "sink into me"

insinceredave (September 25, 2009)

Im sorry but this is a poor record. Its just SO flat and has no replay value whatsoever.

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