One Way Letter - Where Everybody Knows Your Name (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

One Way Letter

Where Everybody Knows Your Name (2005)

Negative Progression

The only thing more cliché than groups like One Way Letter are their collective press releases. Each time I see the first paragraph of said self-esteem boasters dropping words like "unique," "distinctive," "fresh," and other thesaurus counterparts mixed with the term "emo" I begin fantasizing giving my ears the Van Gogh treatment. I will not tease One Way Letter too much, as they do add a new element to the Taking Back Sunday cover band discography; in this case, they engage the panache of a female vocalist, and all this does is remove a sentence from my review where I would comment on how the lead singer sounded like a female anyways. Despite the fluctuation in the vocal tone the lyrics and song titles on Where Everybody Knows Your Name are expected and pitiful.

"Don't lift a finger / I wouldn't want you to go out of your way for me / I've only spent the last 3 years breaking my neck for you / so just let me down easy" is a sample slice from "Her Voice Was Full Of Money." Similarly ridiculous lyrics prevail on tracks "Hospitals Aren't So Hospitable," "Counselor Of The Left Handed Boys Camp" as well as every other forgettable number on the Negative Progression debut. The prime example of OWL's "powerful lyrics" glisten on the closer "…And The Survey Says:" "So just for the record / I'm not going to college / My words are better fit when I spit them out on stage / and my clothes are better fit when I wear them slightly tighter."

…All of this stunning material coming from a band who prides themselves on their lyrical abilities -- and I'm not even getting started on the album title! 10 points for the band name acronym though.

The only saving grace for One Way Letter would be that there's no "screamer" to fight with Selena Langley's strong voice to front their sub-par Brand New guitar hooks and melodies.