Taking Back Sunday’s album “Happiness Is”

Happiness is… a new album by a favorite band that’s just come out.
Happiness is… a new album by a favorite band that shaped what you look for in music.
Happiness is… sitting in your bedroom enjoying the sounds and the lyrics and the magical moments.
Happiness is… excitement of expectation on the way up to the top and the excitement of fear on the way to the bottom… a roller coaster ride.

Taking Back Sunday is definitely a roller coaster ride. I first heard Taking Back Sunday on FuseTV in 2005. “MakeDamnSure” was the key that unlocked the door to punk music for me. And it was one of the first times I’d ever seen a music video.. the experience was incredible. I bought that album, and have played it over and over and over. The Louder Now album is one of the better ones. One of the rides up the roller coaster for me and TBS.

Then I met a friend who introduced me to Tell All Your Friends.  When I first heard “Cute Without the E” and “There’s No I in Team” and “You’re So Last Summer” … well… I think that was the first time I had an eargasm.  It was beautiful.  Songs like those forever cemented TBS into my Favorite Bands list.  I loved the dueling vocals and the realness in Adam’s voice.  Of course… those were the highs in that album.  I am still not able to fully listen to the album ..

which is an issue with most of their music.  They have some REALLY good albums like Tell All Your FriendsLouder Now, parts of New Again, and Taking Back Sunday, i.e. the highs of their music.  But… I consider them good albums solely for the reason that I found a song on the album that I liked.  Then there are the other albums.. albums which contain only songs that I do not enjoy.  Those are the album lows.

That is what they’ve done with Happiness is.  It’s a low.  It’s Where You Want to Be and parts of New Again all over again.  This is not happiness…  This sound is not something I’m into.  I think most fans of TBS are like this too.  I think we all keep expecting TBS to come out with an album full of songs like “Cute Without the E”… and it’s not going to happen.  TBS found their sound a long time ago, and it’s not that punk sound we fell in love with.  They are actually more indie than punk to tell you the truth… which is…  the lyrics are wonderful.  They tell a story, they have deep meaning in poetic lines, and they are touching.  But the way they are delivered… well… there’s a reason fans of punk are fans of punk.

Anyway… I came across an article in http://www.altpress.com.  They posted a release of a song that didn’t make the cut to Happiness Is.  It’s called “How I Met Your Mother”… the title alone is punk.  Taking something popular and making fun and turning it into your own art.  The song is not amazing but so much better than anything on the album.  WHY DID THIS NOT MAKE THE CUT?!  Who knows.

I think everyone needs to come to terms that TBS is not one of the idols of punk rock.  They never were.  They are indie, and you’ll never love them as a whole the way you love the few songs.