Singer Mr Lazzara would appear to want us to believe that Taking Back Sunday's
fourth album, 'New Again', represents a rebirth of sorts. A new direction.
Guitarist Mr Mascherino has moved on to pastures new since 2006's 'Louder Now'
and replacement Mr Fazzi seems to have filled the hole without creating significant
turbulence. If there has indeed been a renaissance in the intervening period then I
am unable to identify any significant differences or innovations myself.
The formula which has served them well so far seems to have survived intact.
Competent power-pop, energetically played and infused with a greater sense
of melody and lyricism than many of their peers seem able to deliver.
The eleven songs in this collection plough a fairly even furrow; largely similar
in density and tempo throughout - not that I believe this to be a bad thing;
what they do they do very well and I feel fairly certain that the material will
scrub up rather well in live performance.
Mr Lazzara is a functionally effective communicator of the songs; a little shakey at
the top of his register truth-be-told but more than good enough to carry the show.
Drummer Mr O'Connell, now as before, deserves a special mention.
His rock-solid contribution never fails to keep the proceedings firmly on the rails.
Opening track 'New Again' has a chorus not a stones throw away from
'Liar ( It Takes One To Know One )' from their last album and sets the stage
and standard for pretty much everything which follows.
Standout tracks would have to include 'Where My Mouth Is', a cliched but
none-the-less uplifting anthem with a strong and memorable sing-a-long chorus;
'Cut Me Up Jenny', whose staccato rhythm gives a little more space for the song to
breathe than many of its near neighbours and closing track 'Everything Must Go'
which wins the race by a mile and may alone be worth the price of the album.
Mr Kahne's homogenous production lacks subtlety but perhaps that
is apposite given the nature of the raw material at his disposal.
A solid little ensemble, worthy of our attention but showing very
little indication of positive and sustained musical development.
Not Without Merit.