Saves the Day
In Reverie


5.0
classic

Review

by Yotimi USER (3 Reviews)
April 14th, 2010 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Criminally overlooked, In Reverie is the lucid dream you don't want to awake from.

To speak of it with high praise or even simply hold it in a positive light would be a forbidden taboo with many of the musically "elite". Pop-Punk. That ugly hyphenated word has been tarnishing Punk's image for too long. Sure it can be catchy, but the meanings are shallow and the hooks are typically cliche. And for true Punk fans, there's just no angst or balls behind it.

Well this is true for most music. A genre gives a very general representation of an overall sound, but it should not be used as a positive or negative adjective. One could not say something is too “pop-punkish” as a negative attribute any more than calling a book too “science fictiony”. An artist may fit into one genre more than another but it is up to the artist to create a meaningful work of art that transcends lazy labeling.

Saves The Day have not always achieved this artistic transcendence. Can’t Slow Down and even Through Being Cool were catchy albums. They resonated well with their target audience, displaying enough cathartic teenage angst to help high schoolers make it through the day-to-day bullying, but not much more. Not until Stay What You Are did they have an artistic breakthrough. Focusing on the overall art of sound and less on catchiness (although it was still very catchy), a pop-punk classic was born.

So the natural next step for any band would be what? Well not what Saves The Day did with In Reverie. While common with certain genres and bands (Radiohead’s Kid A), drastic stylistic changes in Pop-Punk is uncommon due to the demographics of the bands’ audience and their unwillingness to accept change. This is a shame and unfortunate since this album is a complete work of brilliance. Furthermore, a true artist should not create to appease an audience, but rather create something that is a true reflection of the artist’s own ideas.

Abandoning almost everything from previous albums and even the Pop-Punk genre in general, In Reverie is a beautiful exploration of the meaning of life and its frustrations and rewards. No longer is Chris Conley concerned with girls and trivial teenage angst, but more so the abstract elements that life confuses us with. With an unaffected vocal performance, Conley opts out of the whininess we have all come to know and love, and sings with a restrained timbre. The approach reminds me of the French director Robert Bresson, who believed films should show little to no emotion from the actors, because it is the viewers/listeners' job to interpret what emotion should be conveyed. Along with this new vocal style, unique chord structures unwind as the album floats through space and time on its own level of dream-like existence.

Bouncy doo-wop throwback verses would make a child of the 50s smile with nostalgia during ‘Anywhere With You’ until they are pummeled with the dissonant crunchy guitars that weave in and out, never to allow the listener to settle into the happy danceable beats. Conley utilizes a technique in the song that becomes a common theme throughout the album: personifying a feeling. There is no “you”, but the song is actually about feeling complete within himself. In fact, Conley stated in an interview that there isn’t one song on the album about a person despite many references to a “you” or a “she”. The theme resurfaces in ‘Driving In The Dark’. The Chorus beams, “Ever since I first saw you standing in the black frozen night, I’ve been blind”, which tells of the longing to find peace in the world and not in a person, and the ultimate conclusion of the lack of meaning in life. When the poetic lyrics are not pondering meaning and emptiness in life thy focus on the feeling of transcendence. ‘In Reverie’ and ‘In My Waking Life’ would be the perfect soundtrack to Richard Linklater’s A Waking Life, which portrays a dreamlike sequence of philosophical diatribes as the protagonist floats into various people’s conversations. In addition, ‘Monkey’ almost details what one of these philosophical debates could have been, as Conley tries to fight “The Man” and all of the world’s inevitabilities and prove to himself that free will does exist. He sarcastically sings “Let’s pretend there’s no meaning, just stare at the ceiling, and play dead for your whole life.”

The lyrics are also littered with alliteration. Although adding little to substance, the word play creates a more sophisticated and poetic flow that complements the ideas portrayed. For instance, ‘Where Are You’, the most aggressive song on the album, describes Conley’s Crohns disease with lines such as “slipping slowly south”, and ‘What Went Wrong’ paints a picture over strange chord progressions and eerie synths with lines such as “sang a song of sorrow slowly” and “Walter wore women’s clothes”.

While the lyrics are vivid and poetic, the music is magical. Dismissing the idea that Pop-Punk needs power chords, In Reverie displays jazzy guitar lines, odd time signatures (‘Rise’), and My Bloody Valentine style noise blending that perfectly complement the dream-like mood throughout. Organs chime (‘Rise’), synths screech (‘What Went Wrong’), and guitars utilize feedback (‘Morning in the Moonlight’, 'Wednesday The Third') to the fullest effect. The album concludes with arguably the best track, ‘Tomorrow Too Late’. Beautiful chords are played high on the neck of the guitar while a wavering organ provides the background melody until the syncopated rhythm and shoegazy distortion crashes in. Ending on a high note after themes of the meaningless of life saturated much of the album, Conley assures the listener that there is comfort out there. Personifying a feeling once again, he insists “I need you now, tomorrow is much too late”, needing to accept life for what it is and not longing for something that does not exist.

This albums is Conley’s proudest achievement, as he has said numerous times. It is just too bad there isn’t much of an audience for it: After complaining “fans” dismissed it, the bassist Eben D’Amico left the band, and his incredible contribution to the overall sound is severely missed in the band’s latest efforts. The rest of the crew regressed back into trying to please the fans, and it seems Saves The Day will never be the blessing to Pop-Punk that they once were.


user ratings (287)
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
The_One (4.5)
...

Understanding In a Crash (4)
So once again I swim In Reverie without your love....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Yotimi
April 14th 2010


7557 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

1 year 3 months later, my first review. There's no way this should be the second lowest rated STD album, so I thought I'd show it some love.

SeaAnemone
April 14th 2010


21429 Comments


a review from Yotimi what?! cool review... the sci-fi pop-punk comparison fits perfectly... make sure you take the tag out of the summary though...

I feel like there's many guys on the site that CAN write well like this but don't! Props to you for doing it! pos

ConsciousLife
April 14th 2010


121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool review, man. I mean it just knocked my first review off the top after five mins but hey, I'm not bitter or anything.





pos'd



Fucking cool album, too.

Yotimi
April 14th 2010


7557 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Sorry man, this took me way longer than I thought it would and I don't think yours was up when I started.



Thanks Anemone. I guess there's no way to italicize in the summary then?

ConsciousLife
April 14th 2010


121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, just kidding man. Good job.

SowingSeason
Moderator
April 15th 2010


33359 Comments


wow. excellent first review. have a pos

Digging: Tame Impala - The Slow Rush

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
April 15th 2010


22490 Comments


I'd have to give the album another listen because I haven't heard it in a while, but I also agree that this album is overlooked & under-rated. I guess many fans couldn't handle the change in sound, while it probably wasn't helped by the fact that it came after 'Stay What You Are'. Had it come before that album, I don't think it would have been as harshly treated.

Review is really good for a first. I probably would not have suggested writing a 5 review first up, since it usually means it will end up too long (which this is). But the content is still really good. Well done on taking the big step.

asaf
April 15th 2010


949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"No longer is Chris Conley concerned with girls and trivial teenage angst"



whatever he wants to say about an album or whatever you want to say about an album won't change the truth!

Yotimi
April 15th 2010


7557 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks Davey. It was originally a 4.5 but after analyzing it the past few days I realize I don't hear a single flaw so I 5ed it. And yeah, I tried to edit but couldn't decide what to cut out.

Athom
Emeritus
April 15th 2010


17242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

a 5? fucking really?

Yotimi
April 15th 2010


7557 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

It took 7 years to get there but yeah. I think my review justifies it. (I absolutely hated this for a couple years)

Nikkolae
April 15th 2010


5470 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i rather be here, than anywhere with you!



album is killer, maybe not a five for me but its gooddam sweet

SnackaryBinx
April 15th 2010


2309 Comments


nowhere even close to their best, at all

Britts
April 15th 2010


7 Comments


I completely respect the fact that you wrote your first review on this album, it is much deserved. Thank-you

Yotimi
April 15th 2010


7557 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

@Snack - I still like Stay What You Are the most but (objectively) this is probably their best album.

jBoo
April 16th 2010


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great job on the review on STD's greatest effort. The lyrics are so poetic and the music is so complex and makes you feel like youre in a dream, which is why "In Reverie" is perfect for the album title. Its tragic that this wasn't widely accepted when it first came out. Dreamworks Records completely gave up on this record 3 days after it was released. This is my favorite record by them and i think if they released this as their first album, things would've turned out differently...

accompliceofmydeath
October 4th 2010


4898 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow, great review. Looks like I'll be picking up some more StD :D

Digging: Higher Power - 27 Miles Underwater

Yotimi
October 4th 2010


7557 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

cool man, thanks. This one is nothing like their other albums and might take a while so give it a few spins.

accompliceofmydeath
October 4th 2010


4898 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I pretty open to pop punk. Saves the Day is a different kind of pop punk anyway.

random
March 7th 2011


2819 Comments


Anywhere With You rules, it's like Local H meets Sloan.



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