Taking Back Sunday have been through a lot since their release of Louder Now: they have lost a great guitarist/co-vocalist in Fred Mascherino, on top of the luke warm reception from fans and critics alike to their major label debut (the previously mentioned Louder Now). Now with a new guitarist and a fresh batch of tunes, Taking Back Sunday are back to prove that they are better then ever and ready to become the mainstream heavy hitters they deserve to be with their new record New Again.
The album gets right on track with the title track “New Again”, which opens with a catchy bass groove and leaps into a powerfully catchy chorus that echos the sentiment “I am/Ready to be new again”, and from the confidence in vocalist Adam Lazzara’s voice it seems that it is a very sincere statement by the band.
The entire album is filled with different leaps and bounds in influence and song styles that make it feel like Taking Back Sunday aren’t afraid to step outside the “emo” boundaries that critics have laid out for them. Whether the evidence is found in the U2 influenced, arena rock melodies of “Where My Mouth Is” and “Capital M-E”. Or the aggressive tendencies of songs like “Lonely, Lonely” (notice the snarl in Lazzara’s voice at times) or “Carpathia” that leave any indication that their songs fit into the stereotype of the “whiny emo band vocals” in the dust.
It might be hard for older fans to accept who Taking Back Sunday are becoming, a band that is fully prepared for the limelight and aren’t afraid to grow up and become more mature with their musicianship (See: “Summer, Man”). There is something very charming and respectful to be found in seeing a band moving on from what they know to discover who they are becoming.
Maybe that’s why it seems all to appropriate that “Everything Must Go” acts as the final track on the album, it sums up everything Taking Back Sunday are leaving behind to become better at what they do. Whether it be in the guise of a relationship, it feels as though it is an ode to who they were and proving that they aren’t afraid to move on. And for that, I applaud Taking Back Sunday for being able to take chances in order to become better, New Again is a great summer album and shouldn’t be leaving anyone’s musical rotation any time soon.