New Found Glory - Coming Home (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

New Found Glory

Coming Home (2006)


I don't mean to sound bitter nor nostalgic -- but this wasn't what I signed up for. Seven years ago (has it been that long?), I was happy to wave the New Found Glory flag in defense of easily acceptable pop-punk. That flag was understandably lowered, significantly, come the band's two most recent releases, 2004's Catalyst and 2002's Sticks and Stones.

With Coming Home, New Found Glory seemed to be promising a return to form. There's plenty of room in melodic punk for a band to release a crafty, poppy album. What's regrettable is that New Found Glory decided to avoid this route all-together and instead have released an album of D-List pop jams.

It's albums like Coming Home that make me even more appreciative of bands like None More Black, who have members coming from more aggressive backgrounds, or the Loved Ones who unmistakably incorporate melody while sounding distinctly more mature than New Found Glory, who themselves is bound to claim a stake on the late-night TV circuit in the coming months.

That's not to say Coming Home doesn't have its moments. Songs like "Hold My Hand" had me tapping my foot and nodding my head no matter how reluctantly. Unfortunately, as soon as a moment like that occurs it is normally followed up by a trite number such as "On My Mind." Sure, the album features clean production, polished vocals, and is perfectly presentable in most ways, just not to anyone with taste or experience with genuineness in the bands they choose to love.

Coming Home isn't what its title suggests -- so what is it? Essentially, it is a collection songs reeking of insincerity and pretentiousness. It fails to re-establish what made New Found Glory worthy of our attention in the first place, while simultaneously failing to contribute to this maturity they seem to have been striving for as of late. It doesn't sound as though it was written by a group of proven musicians coming to age in the territory they've helped to create. Instead, it sounds like an album written by a once noteworthy band who has become lost within the confines they've built up around themselves and reeking of the clichés they've helped establish. This was the opportunity for New Found Glory to make their fans more than nostalgic for their glory days -- it's too bad they didn't go for it.