Motion City Soundtrack My Dinosaur Life

Motion City SoundtrackMy Dinosaur Life
It's been a long road for these one-time Minneapolis punks. After winning the hearts of a bunch of maturing emo kids with a sound that matched early Elvis Costello with the Get Up Kids, Motion City Soundtrack shifted hard towards mainstream pop and began providing songs for movies like Hotel For Dogs. While their earlier dalliances with sugar sweet pop melodies were matched with a hint of punk ferocity, 2007's Even If It Kills Me swung a little too hard into bland radio rock territory, failing to connect with the band's core audience and falling short of massive commercial appeal. Which makes My Dinosaur Life, the band's major label debut, a surprising return to old form, mixing the pop edge of the Rentals and Superchunk with the studio production gleam and winking emo tendencies of Jimmy Eat World. Sometimes it's just too fucking much, like on "A Lifeless Ordinary (Need A Little Help)," and the band sound ready to cash it all in for a chance to score a Disney movie, but when they hit, like on "Pulp Fiction," they hit huge, offering energetic pop gems that would make Huey Lewis proud, if Huey Lewis liked it when Jawbox dropped into those weird pop parts. My Dinosaur Life is a step back in the right direction, if not the leap that the band should have made. (Columbia)