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Album Review: Taking Back Sunday – Happiness Is

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In their 15th year as a band after forming in Long Island in 1999, rock band Taking Back Sunday are back with their new studio album Happiness Is.

After the opening track Prefade, which is essentially a building violin piece that’s hard to link to the rest of the album, Happiness Is kicks off with the band’s first single from the album, Flicker, Fade. This song is a great representation of what Taking Back Sunday are currently. It’s more mature than some of their previous tracks, such as Make Damn Sure, but it shows the band have managed to retain their original sound and haven’t strayed too far from what they’re good at.

The album then launches straight into the more upbeat Stood A Chance, which is the band’s second single from the album. It’s clear why this was chosen to be the band’s final single before the release of Happiness Is. The track is upbeat, catchy and so it’s easy to imagine it being a highlight of any future Taking Back Sunday gigs. This track is one of the best songs on the entire album.

Another track that really takes you back to some of Taking Back Sunday’s best work is They Don’t Have Any Friends. On this record the band have found a way to keep their messy, rock roots in the songs, whilst sounding tight. They have continued to write catchy, melodic choruses and this track is a perfect example of this.

It must be noted that front man, Adam Lazzara’s performance on this record is really good, like the rest of the album, he manages to bring home a comforting feeling of how the band felt to listen to years ago, yet his performance and lyrics have grown up a lot. A song which highlights the growth of his lyrical skill is Better Homes and Gardens, which discusses problems within a relationship.

The band’s current line-up includes many of the members who were in the band near the beginning of their journey and this record is an indication that they’ve found it easy to revisit to the sound they once had.

If truth be told, some of the best tracks for this album are near the end, as well as They Don’t Have Any Friends and Better Homes and Gardens, another strong track from the record is Like You Do, again like many of the songs it’s incredibly catchy and a highlight of the record.

Apart from the tracks pointed out as highlights, there is very little else of any significant interest. Many of other tracks on the album are okay but not particularly outstanding. Overall it’s a good record by Taking Back Sunday for both fans and general rock fans. Some of the better songs on the album do suggest that maybe it’s time for many of us to take notice of the return of the band that were so huge 10 years ago.

Taking Back Sunday’s new album Happiness Is is out now through Hopeless Records.

To find out more about Taking Back Sunday you can visit their:

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Currently studying for a degree in Music and Entertainment Industry Management at University of Hertfordshire.

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