Release Date: Jun 2, 2009
Record label: Warner Bros.
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative
Review Summary: Taking Back Sunday finally feel like accomplished, skillful songwriters instead of a band driven by a few clever lyrics and a sarcastic deliverThere are going to be a lot of jokes about how this album is called New Again and how Taking Back Sunday still sound basically the same as they always have, which is unfortunate because it isn't really clever at all. The album name rather obviously refers to the fact that Taking Back Sunday have suffered yet another guitarist/backup vocalist change, their third in four albums. On Tell All Your Friends, there was John Nolan, who left shortly thereafter to form the one-hit wonder band Straylight Run.
Kudos to Taking Back Sunday, a sensitive, surprisingly durable Long Island quintet that’s weathered the departure of two lead guitarists and the general collapse of its entire weepy genre. On New Again, the emo survivors manage to reinvent themselves as mainstreamo shredders. Sure, singer Adam Lazzara still gets beaucoup mileage out of tongue-lashing his exes (girlfriends and guitarists), but on muscly tracks such as ”Lonely, Lonely” and ”Carpathia,” his band seems more interested in mature concerns like, y’know, rocking out.
Like so many of their emo peers, Taking Back Sunday gets increasingly poppy as their career winds on, a reflection of their advancing age as much a shifting musical direction brought on by the departure of guitarist Fred Mascherino. His absence has left vocalist Adam Lazzara firmly in charge, a subtle shift in power referenced in the title of their fourth album, New Again, so dubbed because the group feels like a new, different group now that Matthew Fazzi has filled Mascherino's shoes. And that assessment is correct, at least as far as the band's attitude goes: this is brighter and bigger in every regard, never shying away from arena-filling hooks, an attitude that turns slower numbers like "Where My Mouth Is" into a genuine power ballad without a trace of irony.
Taking Back Sunday are a peculiar band, with three albums of largely similar emotional rock with only mild variations in sound to differentiate each album from each other. Their last offering, Louder Now, took a slightly harder edge and proved to be their most successful album to date. Rightly so, as the songwriting—while not entirely different from previous works—had definitely become more sophisticated, and tracks such as “My Blue Heaven” had a real emotional core.
TAKING BACK SUNDAY“New Again”(Warner Brothers) Punkiness doesn’t last forever. Taking Back Sunday, a band from Long Island that formed in 1999, helped shape the self-doubting punk-pop that would soon be called emo. A decade later, after multiple changes of lineup — past members of the band ….