REVIEW: Taking Back Sunday – “Taking Back Sunday”

Taking Back Sunday / Self-Titled / Warner

Does listening to new songs from an old lineup of musicians inspire the same kind of nostalgia in fans as listening to the old ones? As acts such as Blink-182 work on wrapping their first new album since 2003, their fans are currently hoping that’s the case. Another group who hasn’t spent too much time in a studio together since 2003, the Tell All Your Friends­-era Taking Back Sunday, was apparently banking on that as well. With original members John Nolan and Shaun Cooper back, it was safe to assume there would be some effort put into recapturing a little of that TBS-classic magic on this latest self-titled album (or Old Again, as it will be referred to henceforth). That assumption definitely holds water on “Best Places to Be a Mom” or the one-two punch of “This is All Now” and “It Doesn’t Feel a Thing Like Falling” which could have been cut and pasted from earlier work in terms of structure and sentiment.

But there are plenty of detours off the beaten path on Old Again, such as the earnest piano interlude in “Since You’re Gone” or the heavier-than-usual “El Paso”, but most noticeably on “Money (Let it Go)”. On that vibrant ditty, an overdriven bassline introduces listeners to a sound that has obviously been influenced by the aggressive dance-rock sound all the kids got into after emo went out of style. On “Faith (When I Let You Down)”, a more liberal use of the word “influence” could describe the distinctly 30 Second to Mars-esque chanted introduction. So, the group surprised no one by releasing at least a few tracks that sound like the old ones. And that’s fine because, for whatever reason, there’s a big market for new old ones. But Old Again also delivers a few surprising deviations from the norm that, if the group can hold together for another outing, would be worthwhile to build upon.

Download: “Money (Let It Go”, “El Paso”
 

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