Review Summary: This is something they won't want to leave behind.
Forget everything you knew about the Transit that released Keep This To Yourself last year; while still maintaining that catchy pop-punk sound they are wildly known for, the band now incorporates a mid-western emo/indie influence that pushes this record even further. After releasing the all acoustic Something Left Behind earlier this year and then releasing the even more jaw dropping two track vinyl Promise Nothing, it was obvious, Transit has grown up. The blatant American Football influence leaks all over this release. From the start of Cutting Corners with it's very astounding AF influence which sounds like it would fit perfectly in Never Meant. With Transit's past releases it's astonishing how the band is still at the top of their game.
The loss of guitarist Joe Lacy was pretty disappointing, but new member, Torre Cioffi, isn't just a replacement member, he takes that spot and makes it his own. The chord progressions and riffs throughout Listen & Forgive are just fantastic. From the intro to the previously mentioned Cutting Corners to the feel good slow jam Over Your Head. The bass sounds just as great as it did on Keep This To Yourself. The drumming does not disappoint in the slightest. Instrumentally the band is just moving forward and not playing your standard pop-punk beats and such. Also, the reboot of the only full band track on Something Left Behind; 1978, sounds much more larger than life due to the improved production and chorus. Overall, this album is well produced, but, it's not over produced in the slightest. My biggest gripe with the album is that the bass isn't as loud in the mix, but you can still hear it fine so it's not a huge issue.
The biggest improvement on this album would have to be singer Joe Boynton. In interviews leading up to the release, he had stated that he had never felt more confident in his ability to sing, and he really lives up that statement. His lyrics have always been very heart-on-my-sleeve and it's no exception to this record as well. On Long Lost Friends, it deals with the issue of friends moving on forgetting you. I think with any person can relate to that one song the most. One of the more disappointing aspects of this record would have to be an absence of guitarist Tim Landers vocals. His gruff singing has been toned down to compliment the newer softer sound, but at times he returns to that gruff trademark that was key to Transit's old sound. While he compliments Joe's vocals perfectly, there's too many times where he blends into the background or follows behind Joe's lead. On the track, All Your Heart, which Joe claims this is their most positive song the band has ever written features Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy fame. He doesn't add much to the song which is disappointing considering he isn't a bad singer at all, and they could have really utilized him, but what falls short of what could have been one of the band's best tracks is one of the weaker songs on the album. Every song on the album proves to be incredibly catchy, but Over Your Head stands out to me the most. With it's utterly catchy chorus and it's fantastic guitar-work. Over Your Head proves to be one of their most honest songs and one of the best they've ever written.
I never saw Transit heading in this direction. I don't think anybody did to be honest. Change isn't something that's welcomed with a lot of fans and their favorite band, but with Listen & Forgive it will please all fans; old and new alike. If Transit keeps making progressions like this, I think they might become the most influential band of generations to follow. All the claims have been staked, so lets stick tight and see what paths they choose to follow.
You Can't Miss It(It's Everywhere.)
Over Your Head