Taking Back Sunday
New Again


5.0
classic

Review

by Channing Freeman STAFF
May 28th, 2009 | 900 replies | 58,217 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Taking Back Sunday finally feel like accomplished, skillful songwriters instead of a band driven by a few clever lyrics and a sarcastic deliver

There 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. Then there was Fred Mascherino, who was a member of the band for Where You Want To Be and Louder Now. On New Again, there is Matthew Fazzi. You've got to feel sort of sorry for the guy; although Mascherino has come under fire from a lot of TBS fans (and TBS themselves) because of his departure to form the awful The Color Fred, he was still well-liked, and he performed excellently during his time in the band. But there are those who still haven't gotten over the fact that John Nolan just ain't coming back, and so they scrutinize each new backup vocalist with a magnifying glass and ultimately disapprove of them.

Still, Fazzi fits in nicely on New Again, sounding much like Mascherino did, except he opts for more of a background role, whereas Mascherino sometimes felt like more than a backup vocalist. In that regard, New Again is business as usual; Adam Lazzara still owns the microphone, the lyrics are still sarcastic and clever and biting, and the instruments are still played simply yet competently. In terms of how New Again fits into their discography, it's not as good as their first two albums, but it is more consistent than Louder Now. However, Louder Now's best songs seem stronger than anything on New Again, or they were at least more immediately gripping. New Again places less emphasis on catchy parts and more focused on entire songs. With some songs on Louder Now, like "Miami," the verses seemed haphazardly thrown together as simple segues into a catchy chorus, and while it was still a great album, it did feel like Taking Back Sunday were settling into a rut and riding on their past success. New Again feels focused and sure; the band sounds confident despite yet another lineup change.

The title track fittingly kicks things off, and Taking Back Sunday sound more sincere than ever. While Mascherino's departure was obviously a point of contention, the band sounds content with where they are right now musically. "Sink Into Me" starts off shakily with staccato "Hey! Hey!"s, but quickly picks up with the album's catchiest chorus (with handclaps!). If Louder Now's "Spin" redefined "driving" as an adjective, then "Sink Into Me" gives it a new new definition. "Lonely, Lonely" continues the string of strong songs, and it sees New Again falling into one of Louder Now's pitfalls - top-heaviness. However, New Again redeems itself better than Louder Now did; its weakest songs are much stronger than Louder Now's. "Cut Me Up, Jenny" plods without much to keep it interesting, but it isn't anywhere close to being skip-worthy, and "Catholic Knees" brings nothing new to the table, but it's short enough to avoid wearing out its welcome. Other than those two songs, everything else is strong. "Capital M-E" is a scathing commentary on Mascherino's departure, and interestingly enough, it contains the most interesting and catchy guitar playing on the album. Lazzara lets the lyrics do the talking as opposed to putting any sort of aggression in his voice and the song is better for it. Instead of being a whiny confrontational song, "Capital M-E" instead sounds wistful and the mood is sad because of it. "Everything Must Go" is one of the best Taking Back Sunday songs ever, with a similar role to "I'll Let You Live" as the album's "epic" closer in terms of length and a slow start leading to a climax. Lazzara's vocal performance is his best since Tell All Your Friends, and the pacing of the song is utterly fantastic. Taking Back Sunday finally feel like accomplished, skillful songwriters instead of a band driven by a few clever lyrics and a sarcastic delivery.

Taking Back Sunday have always felt like a "summer" band, making music to be blared from car speakers while speeding down a highway, but they've never felt like more of a summer band than they do on New Again. Don't get me wrong - their music is honestly timeless - but Lazzara's insistence that he's "ready to feel new again" on the title track gains more meaning in the summer, where life is made up of fleeting fancies and opportunities, where we move from one day to the next, always searching for something different than the day before but only finding that everything is the same...and that's just fine. So that's New Again, and it's perfect.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2009



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

but chan, you said some negative things!

I DONT CARE

natey
May 28th 2009



4170 Comments



Taking Back Sunday have always felt like a "summer" band

more like a gay band but idk i'll listen to this

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
May 28th 2009



4927 Comments


chan stop this madness

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2009



15730 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

chan i think im going to write soundoffs to every album you're going to review so you can refute it in everyone of your first sentences from now on

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

Knott-
Emeritus
May 28th 2009



10195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

agree with everything except them sounding the same.

ALSO im glad you think capital M-E is great because a lot of people have knocked it when really it's awesome. catholic knees is actually pretty heavy for them, it's one of the worse songs on the album but it's not bad by any means.

CkCk
May 28th 2009



141 Comments


so getting this now

JokesorInsults
May 28th 2009



244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I'M GONNA LEAVE THE SAME WAY I CAME

HOW THE FUCK DID YOU NOT MENTION CARPATHIA


CkCk
May 28th 2009



141 Comments


you changed your summary

im not so sure now

rasputin
May 28th 2009



14538 Comments


ick

Mordecai.
May 28th 2009



8277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

2 fantastic reviews for this already. Nice

BSX
May 28th 2009



1633 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good stuff

KritikalMotion
May 28th 2009



2261 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i like

ataraxia01
May 29th 2009



215 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've always been a fan of Taking Back Sunday and I loved "Louder Now". I did download this but I'm going to make myself wait to buy it and listen to it. Good review, but a perfect 5 though? I always thought 5's were reserved for Opeth and indie shit on this site.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
May 29th 2009



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really, you picked that line for the new summary?

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
May 29th 2009



16083 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

you should change it to

New Again is essentially the audible recording of the season of Summer, in all of its beauty and rage, and one could not ask for anything more.

Ghostechoes
May 29th 2009



1353 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is average at best; never a classic.

Knott-
Emeritus
May 29th 2009



10195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

chan gives everything a 6

also new summary here sucks

Captain Civic
May 29th 2009



280 Comments


Needs a fanboy warning.

Waior
May 29th 2009



11451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

What was the old summary?

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
May 29th 2009



16083 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

THIS IS A CLASSIC or somethin



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