Taking Back Sunday New Again

Taking Back Sunday New Again
At first listen, Taking Back Sunday's fourth studio album, New Again, is a little confusing. The initial tracks are not much of a departure from their previous emo pop rock material, insinuating songs like "Lonely, Lonely" and "Sink Into Me" are just a matured version of what they've already accomplished. They quickly branch into a more rock-forward direction and abandon some of the catchy pop-heavy hooks with tracks like "Where My Mouth Is." Lyrically, the album is frontman Adam Lazzara's most open and honest effort, but structurally it is the least complex. The swinging vocals Lazzara is known for fade into a soft vulnerability, which is no surprise considering he's had a rough couple of years, including everything from overcoming his addictions, to having a baby, to losing guitarist Fred Mascherino (now replaced by Matt Fazzi). "Everything Must Go" is the standout track, a song so passionately packed with emotion and hurt that a new light shines on the band. This is perhaps where Fazzi's guitar influence speaks the loudest and where Lazzara's battles scream. He wails, "You quote the good book when it's convenient" and through a slew of other hard-hitting lines and spiked instruments it becomes clear that TBS still has it. There was skepticism that this album would ever happen, and once again the band defied the odds and produced some of their most exposed and honest material to date. This record is not to be missed. (Warner)