sunday disk 88 298.
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TAKING BACK SUNDAY
Taking Back Sunday's formula of anthemic rock, neo-sensitive lyrics, yelping vocals and loud guitars has, for several years now, been consoling stereo therapy for hundreds of thousands of disenchanted youth around the world. On their third album, Louder Now, the band gets a little louder in an attempt to better capture their rambunctious live sound. They made a good choice when they elected Queens of the Stone Age producer Eric Valentine to man the dials.
Valentine brings a darkness to their pop-tinged screamo teenaged anthems. On "Liar (It Takes One to Know One)" vocalist Adam Lazzara sings, "I'm an addict for dramatics" as the themes of being wronged by girlfriends and having your heart broken are main subject manner of the album. "Error: Operator" is a solid track as Lazzara trades emotional vocals with guitarist Fred Mascherino (the band's signature is dual vocals) that evolves into an emotive and harmonious screaming match between the two. Teenage love never hurt so much, and it's rarely been as loud.
People generally don't like change, and The Stills' complete reinvention from Joy Division-inspired insipid art-pop to seventies rock inspired hoodoo rock pop, left hardcore fans yearning for their black eyeliner and skinny ties. Without Feathers is a cheerful affair with joyful piano replacing the sparse brooding of their previous debut album. It's big on guitars, Hammond organ, mid-tempo beats, horns and sing-a-long choruses. The band ditched their original guitarist, regulated their former vocalist to guitar duties and recruited their drummer Dave Hamelin to step up as the main songwriter and lead vocalist. Without a hint of droop-rock in site, Without Feathers might not enable the band to hold onto old fans who would rather revel in their own misery, but it will certainly make new ones.