Simply put, "Blue Skies, Broken Hearts ... Next 12 Exits" is my favourite album. Whilst I have an burning urge to spout endless superlatives about how perfect this record is, I won't. It wouldn't make for a very interesting review and anyway, wouldn't be entirely accurate.
Getting the negatives out of the way, after "The Last Song I Will Ever Write About A Girl" the album does get a tad same-y. The brief drum intro to "Choices" sounds nearly identical to that of "I Won't Spend Another Night Alone" and "Life Makes No Sense" and "Answers" aren't very distinguishable from each other. Other than that though, the album is, quite frankly, a triumph.
If forced to pick standout tracks, it would have to be "San Dimas High School Football Rules", "I Won't Spend Another Night Alone" and "Broken Promise Ring". They are three of the finest examples of the nouveau punk scene. "San Dimas" has wonderfully heartfelt lyrics and a pounding 54 second outro, "I Won't Spend Another Night Alone", some of my favourite words ever encapsulated in song and amazingly bouncy, almost lilting accompaniment and "Broken Promis Ring" the most raw, honest vocals of the lot and an explosive minute-plus closing that still takes my breath away, even after more than a hundred listens.
If you do not buy this album, you do not know what you are missing out on. I believe it to be the best album in the punk-pop genre, and up there with any other record you care to mention. Five stars indeed.