With the summer heat blasting outside and thousands of concertgoers flocking to Warped Tour it’s truly peak season for pop-punk. It’s funny to think that it was just a year ago that Mayday Parade spent their summer with backpacks full of CD’s and iPod’s firmly in hand. As they walked up and down the lines of kids waiting to enter the esteemed summertime concert series. The band would sell CD’s to anyone who would stop and take a listen. By the conclusion of the 2006 Vans Warped Tour Mayday Parade made 10,000 new fans without playing a single show. Shortly after, California based Fearless Records took notice of the group and quickly signed them. Tales Told By Dead Friends was re-released in November of ’06 and to date has sold over 20,000 copies. After months on the road it was time to record their first full length record. Entirely prepared with an arsenal of fresh songs and a pair of top tier producers at the helm, Mayday Parade took to the studio.
The result is A Lesson in Romantics, featuring an abundance of perfectly punctuated pop-punk gems. Leading off with the cover “Jamie All Over” which was originally preformed by Kid Named Chicago, but Mayday Parade has certainly taken the song and made it their own. “Black Cat” compared to previous work displays an altered sound, that highlights fantastic guitar work; culminating in a breakdown that defines shredding. The song “When I Get Home, You’re So Dead” is a redo and originally found on their debut EP Tales Told By Dead Friends, the new version provides a new dynamic with a powerful feel; not to mention a much better recording quality. On “Jersey” the lyrical content shines through “Cause Jersey just got colder and I’ll have you know I’m scared to death. That everything that you had said to me was just a lie until you left.” The album charts a different course with “If You Wanted a Song Written About You, All You Had to Do Was Ask” as mid-tempo bass line creates the perfect flow for the track. Where “Miserable at Best” is piano infused ballad at it’s best, with the vocals resonating back and forth “But I guess that I can live without you. But without you I’ll be miserable at best.” Following, Romantics picks back up to speed with a good amount of hooks and solid drums as well as flawless form fitting vocals. The title of “I’d Hate to Be You When People Find Out What This Song Is About” is a bit too generic for my taste but the musicianship is anything but. At this point I personally feel that the CD loses a bit of momentum, but the track “Champagne’s for Celebrating (I’ll Have a Martini)” brings everything back around. A Lesson in Romantics comes to a close with “You Be the Anchor That Keeps My Feet on the Ground, I’ll Be the Wings That Keep Your Heart in the Clouds” where you can feel all the emotion pouring out of the instruments and onto the record.
It’s safe to say that Mayday Parade has all around stepped it up with this album, illustrating their maturity and growth. The lyrics are quite reflective and the music can only be described as strong, while at the same time that irresistible catchiness remains. With exceptional and visually intriguing artwork, A Lesson in Romantics may just be the complete package. Being one that can provide the soundtrack to these mid-summer memories.
Jamie All Over
1. Jamie All Over
2. Black Cat
3. When I Get Home, You’re So Dead
5. If You Wanted a Song Written About You, All You Had to Do Was Ask
6. Miserable at Best
7. Walk on Water or Drown
8. Ocean and Atlantic
9. I’d Hate to Be You When People Find Out What This Song Is About
10. Take This to Heart
11. Champagne’s for Celebrating (I’ll Have a Martini)
12. You Be the Anchor That Keeps My Feet on the Ground, I’ll Be the Wings That Keep Your Heart in the Clouds