What a crazy little period it has been for emo punkers Taking Back Sunday. The revolving door of band members have allowed the return of original members John Nolan and Shaun Cooper and the band have turned out their best album in seven years with their fifth, self-titled record. The key to all of Taking Back Sunday’s sound throughout the years and band members has been the use of vocal harmonies and having the lead and secondary vocalists sing different verses over the top of each other. At times, it has made their songs sound messy, but this time around they’ve finally nailed how to make it work to their advantage.
Opening with what quite possibly is Taking Back Sunday’s heaviest song written El Paso, the album has more structure and is more polished sound production wise then the previous few records. There’s more venom in the tracks as well. The heart on the sleeve songs about girls and broken hearts are as prevalent as before. Faith (When I Let You Down) has slight My Chemical Romance flavour, which creeps in and out of this record from time to time. Sad Saviour is the track that will remind older fans of early Taking Back Sunday. A slower rock track destined for an acoustic version at some stage. (have you noticed how you can almost pick what songs will make the transition to an acoustic setting now?)
The middle section of this album does tend to get a bit samey and blends together a bit before picking back up with It Doesn’t Feel A Thing Like Falling, which for my money is the best track on the album and leads off a strong finish to album number 5 for the band.
The return of former members and time to sit and craft out these songs has benefitted Taking Back Sunday. Musically, the album is full of anthemic rhythms and spot-on guitar riffs. The songs work better than they have for the band previously and it feels like they’ve finally reached the potential they have shown through albums like Tell All Your Friends and Where You Want To Be.