Four Year Strong
Explains It All


2.5
average

Review

by Dante Alighieri USER (85 Reviews)
July 23rd, 2009 | 30 replies | 11,777 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fluff like cotton candy

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Ah, the cover album. It is very difficult to seriously review one of these because where one would grade songwriting it is nil, creativity, while maybe done well, is still severely lacking, and the general redundancy of the entire album just makes the listen of each song fairly… well, disappointing. However, that is not to say that cover albums have been done well; Between the Buried and Me’s The Anatomy Of… was a fairly well executed cover album that managed to blend the unique sound of BTBAM yet still remain true to the core of the original song, if only slightly. But the other thing to keep in mind also was that The Anatomy Of… was done after three full length albums on BTBAM’s part. When it comes to Explains It All, it is after Four Year Strongs (official) first full length album and because of this the entire album in general reeks of a lack of artist creativity in their ability to write and put out all new songs. But all that aside, did they actually pull it off well? We’ll see…

The 90s. When I first think of it I think of old-school gameboy, pogs, Surge, lots of Pokemon, and times when the only music I heard was stuff being played through the FM radio. While not entirely growing up in the early 90s (born 89) I still carry with me vague memories of radio rock friendly songs and, being born and raised in Seattle, a whole lotta grunge. While hearing this album it definitely touches off a spark of nostalgia, hearing the songs of old that I grew up on and, to this day, still carry a special place in my heart. I have never been a personal fan of Third Eye Blind or even The Smashing Pumpkins for that matter but hearing “Semi-Charmed Life” and “Bullets With Butterfly Wings” can make me crank up the volume a couple notches whenever I traverse the radio dial. But after hearing Explains It All I can clearly say that the covers on this album are a definite hit and miss, but still fun nonetheless.

The inspiration for making this album comes from the personal influences of the members of Four Year Strong and they throw a very big influence of their own genre into each song, the typical fast-paced hardcore influenced, sugary pop-punk. That being said, a lot of these songs are out of place here to the max. Songs like “So Much for the Afterglow”, “Ironic”, “Bullets With Butterfly Wings” and Nirvanas “In Bloom” do not match the fun pop-punk pace that Four Year Strong sets their renditions of the songs at. Because of this they are a chore to listen to without having to just completely skip the track altogether. The dual vocals of Dan O’Conor and Alan Day just cannot match the power of Alanis Morrisettes vocal range or the humdrum of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain (RIP).

But that doesn’t mean that Four Year Strong completely fail in their attempt to cover some 90s favorites. Their first covers posted on their Myspace, “Absolutely (The Story of a Girl)”, and “Semi-Charmed Life” is pulled off exceptionally well and combined with the energy of their genre of music, will be a summer favorite for the little kids for the next couple years. “Spiders” and “Roll To Me” are also pulled off fairly well, if a little redundant in parts.

So with all the glaring lows and the average high parts of this cover album, is Explains It All worth your time? In all reality it would be best not to buy the entire album and perhaps download the said ‘better’ tracks of this album. In truth this album just seems unnecessary for a band that has only released one major label album, so this cover album is really nothing but a lot of fluff to carry them on throughout the next year where, hopefully, they can start to write some original songs for the world to hear. Yet while this album is fluff, it still carries a lot of sugar that only the pop-punk genre can carry with it; kinda like… cotton candy. Fluff like cotton candy.

Recommended Songs:
Absolutely (Story of a Girl)
Semi-Charmed Life
Roll To Me




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user ratings (182)
Chart.
2.7
average
other reviews of this album
Blindsided (1.5)
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A strange feat, but FYS has created an amazing cover album, surprisingly....


Comments:Add a Comment 
cvlts
July 23rd 2009



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

eh, summary is kinda awkward i know but i tried lol

the necessity of this album is even more hindered by the fact that set your goals just released their album on the same day... just so people know that

review has been half finished since the album came out, just wanted to finish it

Knott-
Emeritus
July 23rd 2009



10195 Comments


Nice stuff, pos'd.

I still can't believe these guys have released a covers album as their second full-length, it's pretty much a perfect reflection of how scene fanbases are so easy to manipulate, and will lap up anything, that their label knows this will sell... it just smacks of saying, "ah f**k it we can't be bothered writing stuff let's just make an album of covers and the cash will roll in."

cvlts
July 24th 2009



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's fun... Specially fer summer. But nothing else

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2009



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is actually a really good review Dante. Well summed up & I'm even giving you a pos.

By the way, I absolutely loved the original version of 'Absolutely'. I recall not being able to get that song out of my head for weeks when it first came out. And then Nine Days just disappeared.

IndieOut
July 24th 2009



498 Comments


i'm two songs in and the singing seems really monotone to me for some reason.

cvlts
July 24th 2009



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thank you very much DaveyBoy

And IndieOut, yeah compared to the originals they do fall short

sspedding
July 24th 2009



4752 Comments


this is more like it. pos'd

accompliceofmydeath
July 24th 2009



4193 Comments


Good review. I'll still probably pick this up 'cause I really like these guys though. It would probably have been better if they covered their major influences. I'm guessing stuff like Lifetime, New Found Glory, etc.

Digging: Devo - Freedom of Choice

IndieOut
July 25th 2009



498 Comments


Then they would sound the exact same as the do on their official debut seeing as they wear their influences on their sleeves.

cvlts
July 25th 2009



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is true.

the songs are mostly just fun summer songs. most fall flat on their faces

Fort23
July 25th 2009



2475 Comments


and the album cover is certainly odd. unless it's the guys' childhood photos.

cvlts
July 25th 2009



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It is

ebay
July 26th 2009



501 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

i was gonna give this maybe an average until i heard them try to cover nirvana.... you have got to be kidding me. every original is better than this crap, even the original songs i don't like.

cvlts
July 27th 2009



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hahaha, eBay I think the exact same thing bout that nirvana part
it sucked so bad lol

PatD123
July 27th 2009



5 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The album might not be great but 4ys only did this to get out of their horrible recording label "I Surrender" and they will release an album with Decaydence soon because according to most of their twitter accounts they have been working on lyrics and new songs since like March

xNintendoCorex
July 27th 2009



1272 Comments


thats nice PatD123.
band is still horrible though.

Knott-
Emeritus
July 27th 2009



10195 Comments


if that's the case then i actually apologise for ripping on them for releasing it b/c i know how bands can get trapped in record deals with shit labels

cvlts
July 29th 2009



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

really? wow, if thats true then i might have to rewrite this review lol

PatD123
July 30th 2009



5 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well xNintendoCorex if you actually gave them a chance and listened to their music, and actually saw them live in their hometown you would appreciate them and see just how well they control crowds and make people go crazy, I saw them at Warped, taste of Chaos and just last week at worcester fest and I have to say they are one of my favorite bands to see live, although I am nervous about them joining Decaydence, who have ruined bands like fall out boy, but we will just have to wait and see

xNintendoCorex
July 31st 2009



1272 Comments


hey, i live in australia so that pretty much rules out seeing them live.
and ive listened to both their albums thanks due to a bunch of my friends constantly drooling over them. The words 'shit music' still come to my mind.
sorry.



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