Review Summary: The voice of an emotionally battered generation.
Growing up is hard to do. It’s difficult to watch the carefree days of the past slowly burn out and be replaced by newfound responsibilities and privileges that appear to be nothing more than unnecessary burdens. Often we as humans tend to gravitate away from our duties and obligations and focus more on the emotive outputs that arise as a result of our failures and flaws. Such is the mantra of The Greatest Generation
, the fourth studio album by Philadelphia-based pop-punk band The Wonder Years. Behind the upbeat instrumentation and heartfelt vocals lies a web of fear and uncertainty for the future and a reflection on the mistakes made in the past. It’s not a record for mending broken hearts, it’s one for realizing that at 26 years old, nothing’s still been accomplished and will most likely never be. It’s for breaking down at the throes of melancholy and accepting the fact that depression will sooner or later win the eternal fight. It’s for holding on to that tiny sliver of hope left after a grandparent falls ill and trying to mask the fact that the fear of him dying is too much to handle. The Greatest Generation
is Soupy Campbell doing his damned best to take on his inner demons, and if there’s a more passionate, emotionally moving way to do so than the crescendos of piano-ballad-turned-fiery-rocker “The Devil in My Bloodstream” or the summation of the album’s most genuinely sentimental passages on “I Just Want to Sell Out My Funeral”, he hasn’t made it yet. The Wonder Years take the hardest parts of post-adolescent struggles and create perhaps one of the deepest, most emotionally raw pop-punk albums to ever exist.