Taking Back Sunday is:
(at the time of this album)*
Adam Lazzara: Vocals
John Nolan: Guitar, Vocals
Eddie Reyes: Guitar
Shaun Cooper: Bass
Mark O’Connell: Drums
*After Tell All Your Friends, John Nolan and Shaun Cooper left Taking Back Sunday to start Straylight Run, a band more based on John’s piano skills than TBS was. For Where You Want To Be, Fred Mascherino took over in the guitar and vocals department, with Matt Rubano on bass.
You Know How I Do opens the album with a high-pitched guitar riff that comes in after a few seconds of feedback. Then the drums come in, followed by Adam belting out “So sick, so sick of being/And oh so tired of being sick/We’re both such magnificent liars/So crush me baby, I’m all ears” You Know How I Do is a relatively fast song, with most of the guitar playing being just power chords, but still good listening nonetheless. The chorus uses the classic TBS dual-vocal arrangement, with Adam yelling “It’s basic”, and John repeating the line “We won’t stand for hazy eyes anymore.” Overall, a pretty good opening track.
Bike Scene comes in strong with a couple short bursts of about five power chords each, and then, straight into the song. “I’ll leave the lights down low/So she knows I mean business/And maybe we could talk this over/’Cause I could be your best bet/Let alone your worst ex. This track is obviously about a relationship, as is every single song in this album. The verse is backed with a riff similar to the intro, but palm muted. About a minute and twenty seconds in, there’s short interlude, with some light cymbal work, a clean, high pitched, guitar riff, and some vocals from John and his sister, Michelle Nolan, who does guest vocals on a few other songs on TAYF, as well. Incidentally, she’s also in Straylight Run, the band that John and Shaun left TBS for.
Next is a track that pretty much everyone knows. Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From the Team) opens with four ringing chords, then the lyrics “Your lipstick/His collar/Don’t bother angel/I know exactly what goes on.” Then into the verse, which is some power chords with Eddie playing a few high pitched, palm muted notes.
The chorus is pretty fast, probably the fastest part of the song. Then, another verse, another chorus, and an interlude; which has some snare patterns going on, with some bass thrown in, more dual vocals from Adam and John, and a neat little high pitched guitar riff in the background. The guitar part has some sort of effect added to it, but I’m not sure what it is. This song is also one of the singles off TAYF, and one of the music videos on the re-release of the album.
There’s No ‘I’ In Team opens with a great palm muted lead riff, then the drums come with what sounds like a lot of bass and tom. When the vocals start, we get one of the best examples of TBS’s dual vocal assault, with Adam and John alternating every other line “Well I can’t regret/Can’t you just forget it/I started something I couldn’t finish/And if we go down, we go down together.” This singing pattern continues through the entire song, and it works, giving this song a great sound.
Another single is Great Romances of the 20th Century, which opens with a clean, moderately fast guitar riff, then some low-key drumming, and even some violin in the background, which adds a nice touch. The song transitions from slow to fast in the chorus, as do a lot of the songs on TAYF, but it doesn’t detract from the song any. Great Romances of the 20th Century is yet another song about a relationship, as are most of the songs on TAYF. If you have the re-release of TAYF, there’s a music video of this song, with Adam jumping around and tossing the microphone around. Definitely check it out if you can.
For some reason, track 6, Ghost Man on Third, was one of the tracks I consistently skipped over the first few times I listened to TAYF. I’m really not sure why I did that, because once I actually listened to, I liked it a lot. This is probably the slowest song on the album, along with parts of You’re So Last Summer. Ghost Man on Third starts with a clean guitar riff, with some effects in the background, and some slower drumming, for a change. The vocals on this song are really well done. So, if you’re skipping this track, don’t. It’s a great song.
Next, is Timberwolves at New Jersey, one of my personal favorites. It opens with a clean, strummed electric guitar riff, then uses the same riff, only distorted, for the verse, which is accompanied by some lyrics from Adam that are almost rap-like in rhythm. This song, again, has a slower-paced verse and a faster chorus, in which John comes in with a smaller vocal part. The interlude at the end does a great job of expressing anger and jealousy: “This is me with the words on the tip of my tongue/And my eye on the scope, down the barrel of a gun/Remind me not to ever act this way again/This is you trying hard/To make sure that you’re seen with a girl on your arm/And your heart on your sleeve. This is definitely one of my favorites off TAYF. Check out the music video on the re-release too. It’s made to look like a fake movie preview in which Adam gets jealous and kills everybody else in the band. Pretty funny, actually.
The Blue Channel opens with some awesome piano playing from John Nolan, then, into a really fast paced, darker sounding song. It also has some pretty good usage of the dual vocals. This is, yet again, another song about a relationship gone wrong. Some might be tempted to skip right over this song, since it opens with a piano, but don’t. You’ll be missing out on a lot.
You’re So Last Summer is the next single. It opens slowly, with distortion and palm muting, then gets pretty fast in the verse. The video on the re-release is just them playing, with scenes of them doing random stuff. Thrown in as well are scenes with Adam’s vocals, and Flavor Flav mouthing along with them. Another excellent song.
The closing track is Head Club. This song was another one that I skipped over a lot. Why, I don’t know, because this song is really good. Again: If you’re skipping it, then stop. The drumming has more snare than a lot of the other songs, and it seems a little faster paced, but gets slower towards the end.
-Every song on the album is, IMO, really good, and doesn't get old after a while.
-Excellent singing in the TBS dual-vocal style.
-Guitar pieces, for the most part, aren’t very complex
-Might be considered somewhat repetitive by some.