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Taking Back Sunday allows fans to stream album early

By Matt Gantos
On March 12, 2014

Technically, the new Taking Back Sunday record isn't available for personal ownership until March 18, but the guys were nice enough to let everyone stream it on Pandora a week in advance.
After listening to the whole thing, as a big fan of the band, I was slightly disappointed. I wanted the first line of the review to say that Adam Lazzara was back on his lyric game, but to be honest this album wasn't too strong on that front.
Nothing really came up that could compare to everyone's favorite line from "You Know How I Do," "If you slit my throat/then with my one last gasping breath/I'd apologize for bleeding on your shirt."
Other than that, it is a quality record, the strings are tight, the drums are on par with previous albums, and, as always, everything else takes the back seat to the complex vocal layering that TBS is known for.
The vocal harmonies and layering are generally everyone's favorite aspect of the band's style because there are so many words to listen to at once and depending on what you are focusing on, they can create several different meanings.
They also allow for repetition of lyrics under the main melody so that you will never forget them. This is the trick that Lazzara and Nolan use to ensure that they are writing your new favorite song. Repetition is the key to remembering a song and having it grow on you.
By no means am I about to say that Lazzara's vocals have slipped, but they certainly are not as energetic as they were 10 years ago. He doesn't necessarily push his voice to its bounds at frequent points through the record to give that super angsty feel that defines him as a vocalist.
Another thing about Lazzara's voice is that it's actually more pleasant than it has previously been. In the heyday of the band, the vocals were always just a micron off to give them their own specific sound. Now that Lazzara's voice has grown and been tamed, they lose that aspect and sound like your average indie band.
It really is kind of a shame that the vocals are so powerful on the new album even though there really isn't that much to showcase because guitarist Eddie Reyes in the background is frequently doing something complex with harmonics or trebly runs that get lost behind the layered vocals and other guitar.
As I sat there and critically listened to the album, I never once wished that it was over, checked the clock or Facebook. I read through the lyrics as they were sung and just kept hoping for more, thinking "okay, this next one is going to be specatular."
Alas, it was just another Taking Back Sunday song that to me, felt half-assed. It was a good listen but nothing dazzled me. Maybe I went in with my expectations too high.
Despite what most fans would say, I enjoyed the self-titled album which was the most recent release aside from this one, so don't think I'm one of those bitter fans clinging to the mid-2000s.
If you've kept up with Taking Back Sunday up until this point, it won't be a waste of your time to listen, just don't expect your new favorite song to be on it.
On a side note, TBS is touring with the Used and they're making a stop in Hartford this April at the Webster, but as of now it's sold out from the official source.

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