Review Summary: An album so generic I looked at the track list and knew which songs I would like based on their album construction in the past.
When Fred left TBS, I lived on their Wikipedia page for about a month because Myspace was blocked on my computer. When I heard they had found a new member, Matt Fazzi, I was elated despite not knowing a thing about him. When I did get the album, I was severely disappointed by Fazzi and the rest of the album.
New Again suffers from a severe case of top-heaviness. This is the case on all the other TBS albums but it is accentuated on New Again because of the lack of great songs on top and the dearth of entertainment at the bottom. The album starts off strong, title track New Again and lead single Sink Into Me are both fun tracks, Sink Into Me even has a clap along bit in the middle. These are followed by Lonely, Lonely, a song described by Adam Lazarra as, " Two and a half minutes of punching you in the face." This is not an accurate description of the track, but it is one of the few standouts of the album.
However, as with A Day to Remember's Homesick, this is not a three song EP, there are 8 more tracks to go, and none of them stand out particularly. Swing has an interesting hook but its verses are there simply so Lazarra can reach this hook, similar to Miami on Louder Now. Where my Mouth Is is a deeply personal song about cocaine addiction, but is also, well, boring. Cut Me Up Jenny and Catholic Knees don't even deserve B-side status and Carpathia gets dull after 5 listens.
The build-up to the closer, Everything Must Go, is not strong. But, as on all TBS albums, this song is a very good song about Adam's fiancee walking out on him. Adam is at his most "emotional" (whiny) on this track and as he howls "You quote the good book/when it's convenient," you can almost feel his pain. This is a high note to end the album on and is possibly the best closer to a TBS album ever.
This album is simply not a good one. The dual layered vocals that attracted me to TBS initially have disappeared with Fred. Matt Rubano is supposedly their third vocalist but I don't think I heard him the whole time. Fazzi is not a special guitarist or vocalist and it seems as if he actually led the band backwards as far as sound. The album as a whole feels longer than its 38 minute run time as it is weighed down by slower songs without the traded barbs between Lazarra and Masherino/Nolan. The worst entry into the TBS catalog since their EP.
Recommended Tracks- New Again, Lonely, Lonely