Review Summary: Tonight will be the night that we begin to ease the plugs out of the dam.
It happens every day. You hear a song that tickles your fancy and you make a mental note to check out the band only to have your sorry excuse for a memory to toss it out in order to learn something that it deems more important like algebra or your girlfriend's birthday. In 2001 the aforementioned scenario happened to me after hearing "At Your Funeral" on a local radio station, but luckily a few years later I was again reminded of Saves the Day when I became friends with a girl that loved their music more than she professed to love Jesus Christ. Ever since, there isn't a week that goes by with out me giving Saves the Day's Stay What You Are
a few spins. It is the perfect Pop-Punk album.
The songs found on Stay What You Are
are centered around the words of Chris Conley. He is a superb lyricist. The ideas he tackles are far from complex and the language he uses is relatively simplistic but the words are perfectly penned for the situations that the songs are describing. Just as Glassjaw's Everything You Ever Wanted To Know about Silence
is the perfect album for dealing with a relationship gone sour, Stay What You Are
is the soundtrack to teenage love. All the awkward moments, and infatuation are described to a tee. When Chris Conley sings
"And I hope, your majesty that you like your position/ I'll do everything I can to keep you by my side/ and I'll stare off through the darkness to find us a kingdom. Just kiss me before I go," it brings a sort of wistful innocence to mind. The same is true for the album's closer Firefly. The chorus of "To me you are the light/ from a light bulb that breaks sometimes/
and the tender warmth inside is released into my life", though relatively insipid on paper, resonates with me like few songs can.
Stay What You Are
's finest moment is This Is Not An Exit. As far as pop punk ballads go, the only song that even comes close to This Is Not An Exit is The Get Up Kid's Out of Reach and it misses it by a mile. Every sentence drips with vivid imagery and a beautiful sense of honesty. This is accentuated by the simple yet perfectly fitting clean guitar. Instantly relatable lines like "...And sail/ belly up to the clouds/ the rocks scraping our backs/ To breathe in the air will be the only thing that we have," and "And you walk across the stage/ Take a bow, hear the applause, and as the curtain falls, just know you did it all," are what concert sing-a-longs are made out of.
For those that like Pop-Punk, Saves the Day's Stay What You Are
is mana from heaven. If you've heard it before, chances are that there are some wonderful memories tied in with this album, and for those that never have, give it a chance to find its way in to some of your life's favorite moments.