With the release of Taking Back Sunday’s self titles new album, they have returned to the punk music scene reinvigorated and with an (almost) original line up. Fans have been waiting years for the return of John Nolan’s unmistakable vocals backing up Adam Lazzara’s high energy melodies that fuel the band’s style and hard hitting songs. But, these guys aren’t 18 anymore and neither is their audience.
Taking Back Sunday’s fans have grown up and so have they. With most of the band almost reaching 30 years old, it’s pretty remarkable that they were able to come back together despite their differences and past feuds. But, because they waited so long to reconcile, it seems their music, rather than their egos, is what was left from the wreckage.
The songs they once created back when they were in their early 20’s had different themes and ideas then their new material. They are no longer singing about their first loves- which are usually wild and unpredictable- because they have matured. Taking Back Sunday was always known for their quick wit and catchy lyrics that hit home harder than a 90 mile an hour pitch. “Cause you could slit my throat/And with my one last gasping breath I’d apologize for bleeding on your shirt,” is a line from their first album and still has just as much meaning today as it did when I first heard it. It’s raw, real and brutally honest and is what gained them the fan base that it did. It was music that people could relate to and use as a release for the emotions they were feeling.
That line compared to the lyrics that compiles their new album are miles apart. That raw emotion isn’t there anymore. Lazzara is an adult now and isn’t giving into the melodramatics of immature love. He has grown up and so, writes lines like “You might lose your faith in science/You might lose your faith in wealth/You might lose your faith in Jesus, oh/Or lose faith in yourself.” It almost makes you wish he was screwed over by his ex-girlfriend, just to get some anger and true emotion back into the songs.
Their musical stylings have also changed because of their experiences. The music itself isn’t as rough and dirty as it used to be. It’s lighter for rock and roll, and despite the heavy drum beat, doesn’t hit the heart as it once did. The guitars, though catchy and energetic, aren’t the dirty licks that TBS is best known for. A band once known for having entire festivals moshing to their songs, no longer have that power with their new material.
One of the things that is evident in this albumis that they don’t take the risks that they did in the beginning. As a young band just starting out, their confidence shone on their first album and they didn’t back down from what they wanted to do. They laid everything out on the line and were able to gather loyal fans around their genuine music. As “veterans” they have a much different view of the music scene they are a part of compared to what they saw when they were younger. They have families now and have more to focus on than getting drunk every night and being on tour for months at a time.
Despite their age, the young 15 year old in me still believes that they can give more of themselves. But, as we all come to learn, growing up means moving on, and songs that tell the tale of great romances may only come around once in the 20th century.
The Oscars were quite a disappointment this year. It’s supposed to be the big show, the main stage, the hottest night of the year for Hollywood, but instead, it quietly fizzled into the darkness of the ghosts of award shows past. It almost seemed as though no one cared to put any effort into the show itself. The hosts, Anne Hathaway and James Franco, didn’t have chemistry or the charisma to carry the weight of the mother of all award shows. Anne Hathaway’s phoniness was the only thing that shone through for her, and Franco lacked the energy of past hosts like Billy Crystal and Steve Martin. My belief is that he was dimmed by Hathaway, but I’m just a tiny bit biased. His laid back personality was too lackluster for the Oscar stage and did not come through in the best light. Their opening sequence was entertaining, but after the first ten minutes, it all dropped to the floor. The monologue was poorly written and had no significance to anything relevant, and the same goes for their dialogue throughout the show. They had every writer at their disposal, but instead it seemed they decided to do it on their own, leaving a lackluster performance up on the Kodak Theatre’s stage.
Most importantly, the actual awards and speeches did not have any excitement or surprise behind them. The King’s Speech swept the categories of course because everyone is terrified of what Harvey Weinstein would have done if he lost. Clearly his campaigning was worth every penny. I’m not saying that they didn’t deserve to win, but Weinstein is a scary man, and I’m sure no one wanted to get eaten by the king of Hollywood.
Although I am still bitter about the lack of nods for Leo and Inception, I was very happy to see my older man crush Colin Firth take home the little gold man. He, along with Christian Bale’s disgustingly incredible performance in The Fighter, deserve the accolades they received. Of course seeing Natalie Portman win for Best Actress was wonderful, but it still was not as exciting as I expected it to be. Her emotions did come out, I mean she is pregnant, but it was not the typical Best Actress speech that have stolen the show in the past. She was did not command the moment like Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon or Sandra Bullock did. I would have to give Melissa Leo the most interesting speech of the night, mostly because she cursed right in the middle of it. Nothing shows true emotion like shouting the f word on the classiest night in H-wood.
So here’s to hoping that next year the Oscar producers will actually put some effort into the show and will give us something good to talk about. Until then, I guess we will just have to debate whether or not James Franco was in fact high or not throughout the show.
patrick stump- raw talent that’s so much more than fall out boy. i can’t wait for his solo work