Taking Back Sunday were one of the faces of the "Pop-punk" revolution that began showing up all over the music scene. Their lullabies from Tell All Your Friends were sang and screamed all over the world. But the album didn't have staying power for most people who listened to it, and the fans immediately demanded a new album.
The new album "Where You Want To Be" came about a year after the band had a new backup vocalist and new bassist. The band had been playing together with it original order for about 3 or 4 years before Tell All Your Friends was released. The new Taking Back Sunday had been only playing together for one year. The album "Tell All Your Friends" was recorded all winter of 2001, and the album was released in March. "Where You Want To Be" was recorded during a short period during the month of April. The general comparisons one makes to 2002's "Tell All Your Friends" and 2004's "Where You Want To Be", are a bit off. The only thing fans should be able to compare "Where You Want To Be" to is 2001's "The Taking Back Sunday EP" which also had the same amount of time recorded and the old band had only been together for about a year.
Right from the ghee co you can tell that this is going to be more of a mellower version of Taking Back Sunday. The first song, Set Phasers to Stun, is a chorused based song. The fast paced vocals in a way cover up for the new backup vocalist being a little off key. The chorus is an electric start to the album "So paste these stairs to your apartment, like it's where you want to be" An overall good start to the album. 4/5
"Bonus Mosh Pit Pt. 2" is probably the song with the least staying power on the album. The song has a very simple chorus "It's love make it hurt, I deserve it", Fred's background vocals get a little bit better in the surrounding lines. The end of the song is probably the most annoying, "The keys to the castle, are right were I left them", is repeated and repeated to a point were its catchiness wears out. The song isn't bad, but it's not a great second track either. 3/5
"A Decade Under The Influence" is a song typical of the album. It was a great song at first, but you knew its repetitiveness would make it more of an annoying song. The vocals that are repeated "I've got a bad feeling about this", "To hell with you and all your friends, it's on", the lines are good lines but when they are repeated to beats similar to the first two tracks it becomes pretty darn frantic. And this song was nothing more than to give Taking Back Sunday a bigger fan base, and for the feeble brained that only listens to this song 1 time, it was a great idea. 3/5
" The Photograph Is Proof [I Know You Know]" is probably one of the better tracks on the album in my opinion. The surrounding lines to the chorus are absolutely perfect: "You see it's never bad enough to just leave or give up, but it's never good enough to feel right". The pre-chorus is also noteworthy: "Now I'm Lying on The Table With Everything you said" is echoed throughout both pre-choruses which leads perfectly into Fred singing "I know you know everything, but I know you didn't mean it", though the chorus is very repetitive the other things in this song make it hold it's own. 4/5
"The Union", is a sick song about a man under stress, and it's probably the hardest song Taking Back Sunday have ever done. The hard and risk taking beat combined with the fast paced lyrics make this an enjoyable experience to say the least. The chorus mellows the other fast paced vocals out perfectly:" I never made a scene, well they came to me". And Fred's background vocals for the first time seem to be right on key. A nice experimental fifth track, the only negative I have is that the length of the song is a little on the short side. 4.5/5
"New American Classic", is another great track. The catchy lyrics are just plain perfect: "We've got to get better, see it's all in your head/we can live through these letters or forget it all together", the rhyme scheme is just one of the many dimensions that make the song great, the acoustic beat is very catchy, and Fred sings the second verse perfectly. All these elements together make a great song together. 4.5/5
"I am Fred Astaire", this song probably shouldn't have made the album. The lyrics are very repetitive and annoying, and the chorus is just garbage. The most comparable song is "A Decade Under The Influence", because of the repitivness of the beat and lyrical quality. The things I liked about the fifth and sixth tracks on this album is that they were risk takers, they didn't have the same little beat Taking Back Sunday was presenting with the other songs, and they didn't have repetitive lyrics. Well, TBS dug them selves right back in the hole this album had presented. 2.5/5
"Come on and say it you need me like a bad habit", is one of Taking Back Sunday's most catchy lines of all their music. But the line doesn't carry all of "One-Eighty By Summer" by itself. The number eight track by the band has a decent chorus, but the lines are again repetitive. The end of the song is very good "She says live up to your first impression", and is the cleverest breakdown the band has had. A pretty good song. 3.5/5
"Number Five With A Bullet", sounds very similar to the last song, but it is less repetitive and even catchier. The surrounding lyrics in the chorus-centered song are very good and well thought through "It's a long way back south/To were I belong" echoes in the second verse leading up to an explosive chorus. Another pretty good song. 4/5
"Little Devotional", is a song that it is going to take a few listens to get into. The band creates a mellow song that picks up the instruments on the chorus. I like the song because it separates it self from anything the album has tried yet, and it is very creative with its lyrics. The chorus is also very good, and the instruments sound a little different. A very good song, leading into the best song of the album. 4.5/5
"Slowdance On The Inside..." is the best song on the album. The song reminds me off Brand New's closer to there "Your Favorite Weapon" album. The lyrics are somewhat immature, but they do show some strides Taking Back Sunday has made in there songwriting since "Tell All Your Friends". The album has a great closer and the instruments are very unique in there own way. The end of the song Fred bellowes the last lyrics of the album "This glasshouse is burning down, you lit the match so I'll stick around" The album closes in a way that doesn't neccesarly define the album, but is a great song nevertheless. 4.7/5
I know we already have a ton of reviews for this album, but I just wanted to point out that the comparisons this album has gotten to "Tell All Your Friends" are a bit unfair to say the least. The band were pressured and hurried into making songs that sound similar, and the only song they really took a huge risk on is "The Union". But before you go leaving comments saying "Where are all the half hearted screams?" You probably should realize that "Where You Want To Be" was meant to be a softer album, unlike the bands debut album.
More Mature Lyrics
Lots of catchy lines
Some songs sound alike
Only one song really takes risk