Album Review: Taking Back Sunday – Tidal Wave

By Maria Lubanovic, Contributor

[Hopeless; 2016]

Rating: 7.5/10

Key Tracks: “Fences,” “Tidal Wave,” “I Felt It Too”

Tidal Wave is Taking Back Sunday’s seventh studio album since their first album in 2002, and their breakout third in 2006, Louder Now. They aren’t the same punk group they were ten years ago; they have grown up a bit, and have created a diverse yet cohesive sound for this album, moving away from the genre they are best known for.

The group, originally known for their emo punk sound, is moving away from their roots, as this album encompasses so many other types of rock, with a bigger focus on great guitar solos, hard hitting lyrics, and general musical versatility than their other albums. The guitar riffs and solos are overall more elaborate, contributing overall to a more mature feel to this album than their previous work. It’s a different sound, showing the overall growth of the band, no longer the punk band who shared our adolescent struggles.

“Death Wolf” and “Holy Water” are the hardest hitting, with the heaviest, most hardcore rock sounds of the entire album. They sound like they are from their earlier albums, reminding us of that little piece of our emo phase that remains in our heart, and a reminder that Taking Back Sunday can still make the music that they became famous for. From then on, their style morphs into a more eclectic rock feel then that of their previous albums with “Tidal Wave”, music that is more aligned with alternative than punk, even borderline folk sounding.

“Fences” is by far the best track on the album. It opens with a beautiful orchestral sound, immediately cut off by the entrance of the singer and guitar. Its lyrics are really well written, with a motif of “Fences tied in razor wire” asking for enough strength to continue forward. Even though the lyrics are heavy hitting, the track behind it still feels upbeat and moving. “I Felt It Too” is soft and different than any other song on the album, with emotional lyrics that don’t label themselves as emo.

“I’ll Find a Way to Make It What You Want” sounds just like a Coldplay song, even sharing lyrics with “Politik” from their second album A Rush of Blood to the Head. The track still ends the album on a high note, with a positive, even tender feeling. Overall, the album is a step in a different direction, which is probably a good one. It shows the growth of the band, and great potential for a new direction for the band.

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