Taking Back Sunday
Live from Orensanz


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
March 26th, 2011 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: How close is close enough?

It's been hard for the best part of a decade to know the best way to approach discussion about Taking Back Sunday. It doesn't really matter whether you're talking about the band's sound in general or specific albums or individual songs; what the fuck have this band been doing since the raw masterpiece that was Tell All Your Friends? And I'm not for one second calling anything they've ever done bad - although Louder Now strayed close to banal at points - I just don't know where to begin in light of the lineup changes and progression. Progression? Regression? God knows.

It's tougher still to accurately depict the weight under which Live At Orensanz arrives and the importance of that context in appreciating the album on offer, because to part-time fans these eleven songs will sound conspicuous by their mellow vibe, and I'm sure the use of the word 'mellow' in any Taking Back Sunday review will already have more devout supporters of the band sitting up and taking notice. But it's definitely the right word. That doesn't mean it isn't intense, just that on this acoustic LP the anger and passion bubbles under the surface menacingly without - for the most part - release.

It's perhaps a fitting end to the lineup of the days of New Again before the 2002 lineup reformed later in 2010 that on the surface Orensanz sounds unspectacular, but on closer examination harbours deeper roots. The band's 2009 release grabbed hold of its listeners on a level which invoked nostalgia towards something universal and road-trip-ish and refused to let go, but here it's an even more powerful projection, as songs from the back catalogue of a band whose forte has always been emotional connection breathe and sigh under that same bond. Somehow the acoustic and relaxed nature of these tracks, complete with the gentle backing vocals of a clearly mesmerized crowd, comes to terms with the shouted sentiments of their originals in a way that always used to be left hanging.

Granted: another parallel to the New Again years of Taking Back Sunday material is in the inconsistent nature of the track listing, which here neglects Tell All Your Friends to a large extent and is slightly heavy on more recent material, but that's surely to be expected from the lineup on display. But it doesn't matter what era the songs are taken from, they all sound entirely organic and part of a seamless setlist, adorned with pianos and tender guitars and with the pace and vocal intensity scaled down to an intimate crawl. If all this sounds like the antithesis to Taking Back Sunday's usual ethos, then good. It is. But it's such a perfect one-eighty that it doesn't just work; it reveals an entire new dimension to the band's music which in turn puts a different shine on the studio tracks it strips down.

Live From Orensanz is a seriously beautiful album in and of itself but more importantly it's a delicate epilogue to turmoil that threatened a fantastic band and to all the upheaval. From Friends through Where You Want and Louder Now and all the way into New Again, Orensanz achieves the seemingly impossible: it canonises Taking Back Sunday's back catalogue and finds the common threads of feeling that followed the band all the way from messy pop-punk through to the alt-rock of two years ago, tying them all together with an incredibly emotive attitude. If you haven't already, I wholly implore you to burden yourself with the context first, but once you've done so, come back to Orensanz to relieve the pressure.



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user ratings (72)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
crandynewman (4.5)
More like Live from Boringsanz. Actually this is good...

Sam Cowen (4)
An excellent live album that is a must hear for fans...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Knott-
Emeritus
March 26th 2011


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love. This. Album.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2011


17944 Comments


louder now is awesome FAG

Rev
March 26th 2011


9439 Comments


Great review, but I really don't like this

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
March 26th 2011


8019 Comments


Louder Now is shitloads better than New Again

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2011


28788 Comments


i don't know why i never got this

liked the review but i only read the 2nd half

iFghtffyrdmns
March 26th 2011


7047 Comments


Nice review knott, very well done.
TBS is awesome, TAYF & WYWTB were some pretty amazing records, and even their stuff since then hasn't gone down in quality too much, especially considering all the lineup changes and whatnot.

ConsiderPhlebas
March 26th 2011


6157 Comments


Very cool review. Never been a huge fan of these guys, though.

wabbit
March 26th 2011


7020 Comments


great review. I've never really given these guys a chance as I assumed they kinda sucked. Would I like this or is it like taylor swift where I am a far too cynical cunt to enjoy?

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2011


17944 Comments


the world is much too bleak to listen to such things

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2011


20857 Comments


Interesting. I've always meant to give this a listen, but kept it on the back-burner as I wasn't too aroused by the track-list.

I still claim 'Tell All Your Friends' has not aged that well, although I know I'm in the minority on that.

Knott-
Emeritus
March 26th 2011


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wonarabbit are you a couldwinarabbit alt

if so you would like this if not i dont know how the fuck you expect me to know!

davey dunno how you can not think songs like Head Club stay awesome forever

cheers for feedback & comments boys!

Knott-
Emeritus
March 26th 2011


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

in other news A Decade Under The Influence on here is fucking astounding

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2011


20857 Comments


I'd say about half of their debut is still awesome...

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2011


28788 Comments


davey no. NO.

Ire
March 27th 2011


41822 Comments


louder now is their best

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2011


20857 Comments


ire yes. YES.

Mordecai.
March 27th 2011


8282 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

sweet live album

Ire
March 27th 2011


41822 Comments


YES

RCKilm
March 27th 2011


232 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i probably should bump this up.

Steoandnoodles
March 27th 2011


2832 Comments


I actually thought this was better than any of their studio albums. Really good.



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