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Taking Back Sunday

Tell All Your Friends

Release Date: 03.26.02
Record label: Victory Records
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.


Not Quite "American Idol" Material
by: jonathan baran

Most veterans of the annual music and sports tour known as Warped Tour are not known from their shining vocal ability. Singer such as Dickey Barrett of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory initially come to mind as singers who must have missed a few singing lessons in their younger days. The newest buzz from the Warped Tour circuit is New Jersey emotional pop punk band Taking Back Sunday and they offer up two more names to the lists of “singers” in Adam Lazzara and John Nolan.

The biggest problem with the singing is the blatan flaunting of their lack of ability. Where singers like Dickey and Jordan try to hide their singing voices the two TBS singers make sure the listener takes note. Most of the songs have at least one moment of an incredibly shrill and tone deaf scream and it’s really hard to not just turn the CD off at these moments because it really is that bad. No one says you need to be the best singer but it would be nice if you didn’t go out of your way to prove that you aren’t. Songs such as “Ghost Man on Third” and “The Blue Channel” prove incredibly trying because the screaming is enough to make ones ears bleed.

But surprisingly, if you are able to get past the singing (this, however, is a big if) Tell All Your Friends is a good album as far as emo-punk goes. The genre in general lacks much power, edge, or diversity. With their heavily layered guitar sound and rapid fire delivery TBS makes a valiant attempt at bridging the music of Fugazi with the lyrics of The Smiths.

In one of the most singable break up songs of recent member (and current single) “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut from the team)” provides such Morrisey-esque lyrics as “When everything you’ll get is everything that you’ve wanted, princess, which would you prefer? My finger on the trigger or me face down across the floor?” This is the typical type of fare on this CD; nothing mind blowing but it does its job in the genre.

The genre itself has too many crying, sensitive front men such as Chris Carrabba to ever be taken seriously by the punk rock community but Taking Back Sunday does a pretty decent job of bridging the gap. In the end the singing ability and sometimes overly-cliched lyrics are a bit too prevalent to warrant attention from fans outside of the genre but it is quite a bit better than much of the other offerings from the Warped Tour set. 18-Mar-2003 11:30 AM