Taking Back Sunday is back (yeah, I said it) with their follow up to 2006's Louder Now. Does it live up to their previous albums, or leave the listener wanting more?
Well, I would like to know that as well. I started listening to Taking Back Sunday at Louder Now, and haven't heard anything of theirs before that. I don't think this will effect my ability to give a fair and honest review, but I just wanted to mention it because I won't and haven't been able to compare this to older albums, so keep that in mind.
Starting off, the album is... OK. The first and titular track, "New Again" starts off with a focus on the bass, which is something I wasn't used to from them. The new sound is a little deeper, a little louder, and a little less clean. The vocals are more of the same, just with a little more edge; and all these changes are consistent throughout the album. Anyways, "New Again" is a decent lead in to the rest of the album because it shows off the new sound pretty well.
Next up is the high point of the album, "Sink Into Me". It has a catchy tune, well quick tempo, and some very satisfying vocal portions. This is the song you'll be coming back to, and if nothing else, I'd recommend at least downloading this song alone. Sadly, the album starts to lack in... well, good songs.
Not to say the rest of the album is bad, because it's not, and there are a few more keepers for sure. I just wouldn't call the majority of the tracks memorable. The next song "Lonely Lonely", is plagued by a slightly annoying chorus. The song is just lacking any interesting lyrics or instrumental work at all. Same goes for the next song, "Summer, Man". While it does have a better chorus, and more variety, it still lacks anything really worth the time.
After that comes "Swing", which actually has decent lyrics and some nice portions throughout. "Where My Mouth" follows it, and is the first “slow” song on the album. However, it lacks the interesting material to hold the song up through the slow pace. "Cut Me Up Jenny" is next, and brings the speed back up a few notches; yet, just like the song before it, the song drags on and really doesn't present much.
Occupying the rear end of the group of “meh, that was OK” songs, is "Catholic Knees". Not much to say about that one, as it's very forgettable. Finally, the last three songs of the album go back to the acceptable quality of its first few songs. "Capital M-E", "Carpathia", and "Everything Must Go", are among the best on the album. Well, OK, "Carpathia" is on the edge of being just “OK”, but it's still a high point after the bore-fest in the middle of the album. The other two, "Capital M-E", and "Everything Must Go", both have catchy choruses, nice overall tones, and are just more enjoyable to listen to then a majority of the album.
New Again was a bit of a disappointment. After Louder Now introduced me to the band and consequently impressed me, I had hoped for a bit more from this new record. Overall it's just pretty weak. Not many of the tracks stay with you, and they all just kind of blend into one after the first two songs. The good songs here are worth a listen, but they still don't surpass the best of Louder Now.
If nothing else, just get on iTunes and look for:
- "Sink Into Me"
- "Capitol M-E"
Overall Score: 7/10