My Saves the Day journal
I believe that every band has the right to change and grow. Some people who heard this album prior to release or heard one mp3 have deemed it a change in the wrong direction, and I feel that those people are not giving it an honest chance. So, having had this advance copy of the disc for a month prior to its release, I decided to listen to it often each week, and make a journal entry to see the progression of my opinions and observations from first listen to well-known album. This will hopefully let you all know if you will like it based on previous thoughts of the band's style and whether it will grow on you. Plus, journals are the in-thing now, right?
The first song "Anywhere with You" (the mp3 released) is a big shocker in terms of style. It starts out with chunky grunge guitars and then heads into a verse that is almost disco. But the chorus heads into familiar territory with a sweet melody over lightly distorted indie chords. The rest of the disc seems to tread on that same ground, not as weird as the beginning of the song. I sense a similar sound to tracks off "Stay What You Are" like "Freakish" and "This is Not an Exit," because like those, the majority of this album's songs, are a slower tempo, have sustained vocal lines, and an interplay between guitar and bass that allows for more separation between the lines. Also, there are not as many power chord heavy tracks, lots more picking involved.
While the songs are slower, there are some hard hitters, and the melodies are already getting stuck in my head after the 4th listen. I don't think the album is terrible, but I still think less of it than "Stay What You Are" and "Through Being Cool" but I can definitely see how they progressed to this, to many people's chagrin.
"Driving in the Dark" is a great song. While more laid back than their old stuff, this tune has a great chorus melody and still rockin' in my opinion, also it has an almost "At Your Funeral" feel in the guitar in the chorus. Chris' voice is also more relaxed, and you can especially tell during the bridge of this song when it is more exposed. Those annoyed by his voice before may be able to tolerate it, but people who liked it before may not now.
The title track is my favorite so far, and while the intro scared me off at first and still seems out of place with its dissonance, the chorus makes up for it with it's catchiness and use of falsetto. I also dig the augmentation of the chorus melody in the bridge.
The album continues to grow on me. I feel that anyone who was open enough to accept their change in "Stay what You Are" can accept and like this if they just listen to it a few times. All truly great bands go through style changes. Although some people may feel that this is a step backwards, I still prefer this to a "Stay What You Are" replica, or if they were still a Lifetime-like band. As much as I love those albums, they have already been made. Even lyrically this album is different, being a bit more on the positive side (not saying much for this band). I do miss lines about drinking blood, but what can you do?
The closer, "Tomorrow Too Late" is another great song and a good end to the album, and the beginning of it sounds very Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour."
Well, the album will be out in about a week and I stand firm as I read reviews in AP and hear opinions from others with advance copies saying that this album is weak. Although this album has grown on me, it still ranks below their last two and only ahead of "Can't Slow Down" for me. But all their albums are great, and if you agree with me there, then there is no way that this album wouldn't be worth a buy.
My Saves the Day journal