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Taking Back Sunday - 'Twenty' Album Review


1. Cute Without the 'E' (Cut from the Team)

2. You're So Last Summer

3. Timberwolves At New Jersey

4. A Decade Under The Influence

5. Set Phasers To Stun

6. One-Eighty by Summer

7. Liar (It Takes One To Know One)

8. MakeDamnSure

9. What's It Feel Like To Be A Ghost?

10. My Blue Heaven

11. Sink Into Me

12. Everything Must Go

13. Faith (When I Let You Down)

14. Call Me In The Morning

15. Flicker, Fade

16. Better Homes And Gardens

17. Tidal Wave

18. You Can't Look Back

19. Call Come Running

20. All Ready To Go

21. A Song For Dan

I’m never sure that the best way to be introduced to a band for the first time is to listen to a compilation album but that’s what I’ve done with Taking Back Sunday.

My problem with compilation albums is they jumble years of work together. Most bands change and develop over this time, individual songs are statements of where they are at for that given point in their musical development.

This band have been going for 20 years. I have listened to the whole compilation. I’ll be honest, for the first 6 songs I wasn’t sure. I just wasn’t feeling it. 'Liar' started to get me interested, it felt like the first time in the album that they had really tried to write a song rather than just throw something together, I could be being very unfair, its just how it come across listening to it for the first time.

It feels like the band hit their stride after that and had finally realised what they were capable of and had confidence in their own ability.

I struggled to write this review, I kept changing my mind about how good a band Taking Back Sunday are, usually I know what I think a few songs in. If I’d written this review based on the first five songs this would have been at best a three out of five review. Some of the later songs are, however, excellent. 'Sink Into Me', 'Everything Must Go' and 'Faith' are among the many songs I will listen to again. I enjoyed their music more and more as I went through this album, with 21 songs, only being unsure about 6 is a tremendous success rate.

The start of the album means this cannot be a five out of five review for me, but I can see how they have grown and improved over the years, I do feel they have to trust themselves more, when some of the songs become quieter it sounds like there is something quite special here. 'Call Me In The Morning' is the first time, for me, that they trust themselves not to throw the kitchen sink at a song, it works incredibly well, from that point on you can hear their confidence in their own ability.

When 'Flicker Fade' started my first thought was they have regressed, but then I quickly realised this is a band who now really know what they are doing. 'Tidal Wave' is the song I think they were trying to write at the beginning of the album, I loved it, from 'Liar' onwards this is a five out of five album for me.

If I’m honest I don’t think they will ever be seen as great musical innovators, but they have a clear understanding of what they are trying to do, if I was a long-term fan I would still be on the journey with them and thinking the best is clearly yet to come. I’m not a long-term fan but I am a new fan, something that doesn’t happen to me often after listening to compilation albums.

The new song - 'A Song For Dan' - is a prefect ending to this album and a perfect teaser for what they can do next. Taking Back Sunday can’t stop here, they’re nailing it, they need to keep going!

Review - Iain McClay

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