REVIEW: A Day To Remember – “What Separates Me..”

A Day To Remember / What Separates.. / Victory Records

Getting the particulars out of the way, this is the fourth album to be released by A Day To Remember, a Florida-based five-piece rock group that walks the narrow yet crowded line between post-hardcore and pop punk. Stan Lee once said “every comic book is someone’s first comic book”. Surely, the same can be said for this record. Somewhere, a young teenage music fan will buy What Separates Me From You – possibly after having enjoyed an ADTR concert – with no frame of reference. It’s hard to imagine a more regrettable scenario.

Not that the record is terrible – four releases in, the group seems at the top of its big hook writing game, as evidenced in the songs “Better Off This Way” and “All Signs Point to Lauderdale”. However, beyond the out-and-out pop-punk tracks, What Separates Me From You is essentially just another fat kid on the already rusty trampoline that is this genre. Chugging metal chords and screamed lyrics (lines like “My heart is filled with hate” and “There’s a hole in my heart where you used to be” provide a fairly accurate soupcon of what is to be expected) have been ADTR’s own unique way of standing out from the crowd – but it’s the heavier songs that stand out as being particularly weak and formulaic. There’s no aspect of pop punk, post-hardcore or a combination of the two that’s covered herein that hasn’t already been done to death – and more enjoyably – in years passed. This latest effort is just another addition to a genre that’s been stretched too far, for too long, by too many.

Download: “Better Off This Way”, “All Signs Point To Lauderdale”
 

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26 comments on “REVIEW: A Day To Remember – “What Separates Me..”

  1. daniel tosh on said:

    FIRSTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous on said:

    This quite possibly could be the shittiest revew ive ever read. You obviouly know nothing about this genre. You’re probably some middle aged fart who listens to green day or some shit. fuck u.

  3. Anonymous on said:

    Agreed with the person above. You have NO idea what you’re talking about. Huge slap in the face to this band, their hateful because of one-minded fucks like yourself.

  4. wade wood on said:

    WOW apperently your confusing what good music is, and being partial to your taste. ADTR are the poineers of this type of music, and honestly it sounds like you just dont like this type of music. In my opinion and all the fans from their sold out shows, its amazing and some of the best in this kind of music. So im sorry, your wrong. This is an excellent CD id give it like a 4.5/5 if not more

  5. ^^above me.. adtr did not invent pop punk .. get your shit right; i think 3/5 stars is a good grade for it. im a huge adtr fan; have every album, but this wasn’t nothing compared to for those who have heart or even homesick

  6. Anonymous on said:

    dude whoever wrote this review is ignorant. just because ADTR may not be their taste, doesn’t mean they aren’t good. personally i love them and i think what separates me from you is one of their best albums yet

  7. Anonymous on said:

    Hey, douchecanoe, we all know ADTR didn’t invent pop punk. However, they were the first or one of the first bands to popularize a combination of pop punk, metalcore, and post-hardcore.

  8. Anonymous on said:

    Um i agree with this review. This album is pretty disappointing aside from a few songs, nothing is as good as “for those who have heart” or some of “homesick”. I want more hard core and less pop punk. but it’s okay.

  9. Andrew Sw. on said:

    Yea dude. Take the time and read the lyrics before you post some shit like this. A Day To Remember fucking rocks! Inside and out.

    Have fun fucking yourself.

    Andrew Sw.

  10. I am appalled at everyone who is saying the reviewer is one-minded, and that the grade is unforgiving. To be honest, 3 is actually great. Not only does it get recognition as music (usually reserved for 1 stars, if not, it would be 0 stars), but it has enough merit to get 2 additional stars. But you seem to be the one-minded people, saying that he/she don’t know what they’re talking about. To me, it sounds like you guys are the ones who listen to this type of music to death, hold it over most other music. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but you’re only judging it against ADTR previous works, and the works in the neighborhood of ADTR. There is a lot to more to consider in a body of musical work. I’m not saying you guys are wrong, but those statements are really shallow. It’s not a godsend, but it’s not garbage either. Two factors to consider is how the album succeeds in the genre (which doesn’t seem like it’s going to be making waves other than people who are going to be at a related concert), and how good the songs are live. Live is the the selling point. If they make music that makes you want to see them live, and if the deliver, that is also another point of merit.

  11. tony alan hammons on said:

    I enjoyed this almbum, for the most part: a lot of the parts were way more boring than others. I pesonally think ADTR put this album together with less passion, compared to previous albums. It’s still really good though. Although these lyrics are the most depressing from their albums, i believe. Definately worth a Listen or four.

  12. Q has a bloody good point! I’m a fan of ADTR and this particular album, but 3 out of 5 stars is perfect for this release. Although I do believe the review itself is a bit biased, the actual score is spot on.

    Only an absolute fanboy would consider this a 5 star album! It’s miles behind FTWHH, that’s for sure and lets face it ADTR as fun as they are, are far from gods musically.

    Anyway that’s just my opinion.

    Peace, much love.

    G

  13. jonflynn on said:

    when did reviewing an album mean you had to pick holes in it and critisise it? didn’t your mother tell you to say something nice or dont say it at all. besides blues music has been around since 1933 and im pretty sure it hasn’t changed that much, so maybe thats another example of an overcrowded genre.

  14. The reason blues was successful when it started was because it was relevant and had history, and the reason why it’s still relevant today is because it’s cultural impact. The beginnings of blues are too hard to ignore, and using it as a platform to speak the truth or express creativity is a perfect canvas. However, in an industry aspect (not critic aspect), blues isn’t going to get you in the business. It’s too old fashion to do straight-up blues. Even if you’re really good, it will be hard get accepted a deal because they’ll tell you that you missed the “blues-mark”. You’ll have to be doing something like the Black Keys to have blues now, or have to be a godly blues musician that it will bring the blues-revival, which I don’t think that would happen because there aren’t enough blues musicians out there to keep that alive. All the good blues musicians play covers, and have respectable originals.

    That’s not to say hardcore music isn’t a perfect canvas. However, some genre don’t need to die, but need more work to keep fresh. Hardcore music, like all other music, can be in the same regard as blues, relevant and cultural. However, only when they’re making an impact in the overall creative community of human beings. That’s why we have “classic” albums in all genres, for their innovation. So there is still hope for hardcore music to get classic albums, but because now no one is really taking the time to make it a respectful medium and keeping the music sheltered to its respective circle of fans, a lot of critics and new listeners aren’t turning their heads or going to other’s saying “Woah, look at this. Guys, you gotta check this out!”

    So let’s put hardcore music in the light of New Wave music. New Wave had its beginning, rise, and decline. All genre’s have something great about it, and anyone is free to make music in any genre. But when people started getting the picture that everything essential has been done with New Wave, musicians started aspiring in the next thing, or dropped back to still fresh genres. Hardcore music has met it’s stopping point of what it has to offered, and everyone isn’t making anything past its potential. I’m not saying all hardcore bands should be as complex as Between the Buried and Me, but explore more territories and dynamics that show the genre still has classic material to be made and respected.

    So to me, it doesn’t seem that ADTR and bands like it are really in it for mass critical praise. I feel that they wan’t to make music for their fans that they can enjoy, keep inspired, felt understood, and have killer shows. Imagine how it would be the other way around. Would you still like ADTR? Their passion for music is more for reaching out to a select group (still there are chances for it to expand) of fans, and for them to know that they appreciate their efforts. So, I think they’re successful enough to keep going, in the eye of a critic, and from the eye of a fan. If we fans are conscious about the music itself, that would be like telling them how to do their job. Liking the music would be much harder.

  15. Some Guy on said:

    I had to comment because the review itself and the following comments are a really interesting display of why people get into such heated online bickering matches on this sort of stuff. It seems that we all have differing expectations of what good music and a good cd is (duh) but we also have vastly differing assumptions about how quality should be judged. For instance, the reviewer seems to hold the assumption that a major factor in making good music is that the songs are an original addition to an area of music. With that in mind, I can see why he isn’t particularly pleased – the album is a little heavier in spots, chuggier in spots, poppier in spots, but generally an extension of an already extensively substantiated sub-sub-sub-genre.
    That’s all good and fine, and adds up to a logical 3/5 stars. But if one’s assumption is that good music doesn’t have to be necessarily conceptually original, but must be adding enjoyable content to an already established style, then this album would probably be viewed much more highly. (e.g. A good restaurant doesn’t have to feed me completely novel and interesting foods every time I go, but has to do a good job of feeding me food I would expect).
    Then a separate assumption is the way that the cd relates to the band’s live performance abilities. One commenter said that live performance is the selling point, and seemed to imply that the band’s live performance and their cd material have a great effect on each other. While in some ways there is truth to that, I think personally that most people buy a cd with the intention of listening to it in various contexts of their life (in the car while driving to work; on an iPod while exercising; on a laptop while studying; in a room while hosting friends; etc.) and it really has very little to do with how good the band is live. The intent is to have a personal impact in those various situations (heavy songs add aggression to a work-out, the catchy songs are good sing-a-longs while driving, etc.)
    One more important assumption is whether the cd should impact the most relevant genre, or impact the world at large. It seems that the reviewer and some commenters expect the cd to be “making waves” outside of its genre. That’s a fine assumption, and in that mindset I can understand being less than thrilled with the cd.

    …I’m rambling a bit…

    I say all that because I think it’s important to preface what one’s assumptions are before providing an opinion so that we aren’t all just stomping on each other with “it’s great!” “no, you’re stupid, it sucks!” “you’re both stupid, it’s mediocre!”… etc.
    So here are my assumptions, followed by my judgments:

    -A good cd doesn’t have to be good live, I just want to enjoy it in the privacy of my own personal life. Thus I think this album is perfectly fine in that aspect (but just for the sake of reviewing/commenting, I bet they could perform it pretty damn well).

    -Good music doesn’t need to be a completely brand-new and novel experience, we all know what sort of music we like and a band should be able to retain some stylistic consistency if it’s what they enjoy playing and are good at it. Thus, I’m perfectly fine with this album not being wildly different from their others or others in the genre.

    -I don’t care whether the album becomes a “top-40″ radio hit or goes completely unnoticed by society at large. I don’t even really care how the post-hardcore/pop-rock/post-whatever sub-sub-sub-genre reacts to the cd… what I care about is that I ENJOY it. And I do. Thus it’s fine in that aspect as well.

    My general review: There are a couple songs that are a little less exciting than others, yes. But I think 8/10 songs on the cd are killer, whether it’s the heavy ones or the more catchy pop-rock ones. Personally, I think “Sticks & Bricks” and “You Be Tails, I’ll Be Sonic” are really intense, heartfelt, enjoyable, and just epic overall. I find the cd to be generally awesome, and in a close race with both Homesick and For Those Who Have Heart in terms of their quality. All things considered (within my set of assumptions) I’d give it 4/5 stars, and I’m happy I went out and purchased it on the drop-date.

  16. what is up with people rambling on the reviews and what others say? do you have nothing better to do than post a comment that looks like a high school paper?

    ADTR didn’t really impress me and 3 stars does it justice. it’s ok, not mindblowing.

  17. Shane, do you have nothing better to do than to comment on people with nothing better to do than “post a comment that looks like a high school paper?”

    I joke. I like it when these things provoke discussion and interaction :)

    Really, who cares? Someone feels strongly about a particular topic and is using a public internet discussion forum as a means of expressing himself / herself. Welcome to the internet, is this your first time?

    Rambling aside I enjoyed the review, and feel 3/5 is fitting for the album.

  18. Q and Some Guy,

    For what it’s worth I actually enjoyed reading your ramblings more than I did the album review itself. Keep it up! ;)

    G

  19. Thanks, G

    and yeah, this is the internet. It’s not supposed be some firefight, so let’s kick back and share more often heheh

    And to Some Guy, I agree with your analogy with the restaurant.

    I’m afraid I wasn’t clear enough with what the essential aspect of playing live (not how good they are live) is, but I’ll be rambling in unrelated tangents just to get to a minor point (that I already brought up, but failed to make the point clear lol)

  20. Anonymous on said:

    and nobody even recognizes daniel tosh as the first person to comment relly????

    personly liked the more pop syle of the album

  21. greatest adtr fan on said:

    i am the greatest adtr fan, and I am DISAPPOINTED, to say the least… you have no idea what music is if you think this album deserves 5 outta 5. TRUST ME i am an amateur musician and i know how to formulate music… this album lacks that and sounds like it was made in 15 min… max. breathe hope in me, casablanca sucked anyways, if looks could kill, music, no beyond music… these are the songs tht made them heroes! NOT SONGS LIKE better off this way… the dude who did this review is spot on and probably too generous… but i digress. adtr was what any high school kid with problems needs to hear, think, when your sad, when your angry, when your happy… they were there to catch your fall… now they’ve let us fall… true fans know what i mean… people say oh well they just found a new sound and i like it, but hardcore is the type of music that stands up against every other genre, and when u let your hardcore fans down, YOU GIVE THEM NOTHING TO STAND FOR!!!! so thats why i bring it upon myself to make the next best harcore band that will never betray, never falter, never conform just for fame and fortune, these heroes have betrayed AND THEIR NAME IS TREASON!

  22. I actually liked this album quite a lot. I can’t get the songs out my head and for the most part I found it pretty bad ass. I love for those who have heart and homesick also. However, I hate these goddamn closeminded people who will actually use the phrase “you probably listen to green day” as an insult. I like green day and fuck you if you have a problem for it. I have a huge array of different music I listen to including a small amount of rap (just not the “Gaaannnstaa” stuff…. Just ….no) But getting back to the album review. Yeah this guy is too harsh on this album in my opinion. I would give four stars to this album. But, I do agree that their previous albums were better. That is all.

  23. Anonymous on said:

    This is an amazing album and if you can’t recognize that, than obviously your head’s too far up your ass to hear anything.

  24. Hostagecalm on said:

    Lol at the little kids getting butt hurt about a music reviewer bring mildly critical about this album. He wasn’t saying it was bad as the 3/5 suggests. He was bribing up a issue with this band that he feels is holding them back. That’s the point of reviewing. Honestly this is one of the higher reviews for album. If you think this album deserves higher than your music taste isn’t really matured (not a bad thing if you are younger, this is a start). This album is gimmicky, it uses a proven formula to attract kids. As ADTR has done with every album. When I was 15 I thought ATNWT was a awesome album. It was new to me at the time and it was catchy, now that I’m older, catchy singing and heavy breakdowns don’t fool me anymore. I still enjoyed some songs on here, but since FTWHH every album is the same formula, one or two acoustic songs, two heavy songs and than a mixture of pop and breakdowns. Simple guitar riffs and chuggy breakdowns. Singing about wanting to get out of Ocala and wanting to do violent things to someone. (like paying a homeless person to stab a 15 year old because he stole your gf back in 06). Each album only getting heavier and popier Honestly 3 out if five is fine. Quit bitching listen to The Wonder Years and Set Your Goals.

  25. Hostagecalm on said:

    I apologize for the terrible grammar and spelling, I’m using a iPhone. Awkward fingers :/

  26. James Wesley on said:

    I would like to say, this is by far their most original album, the songs off of Homesick and For Those Who Have Heart are one after another ripped off from other band’s songs. The heavy songs on this album are by far the heaviest they’ve done, and I’m glad they didn’t try to mix as much Pop Punk with Hardcore this time around. I’m personally sick and tired of clean vocals followed by screamed back ups, which is what they did in past albums. Also! anyone saying they went soft is fucking retarded, and has never listened to their old shit. They started off a soft band, and sold out to the heavy shit because it got them more fans, and now they are going back to their original sound.

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