After a 4 year hiatus and ongoing lineup changes, Amber Pacific has reunited its original lineup consisting of lead singer Matt Young, guitarist Will Nutter, drummer Dango and rhythm guitarist Justin Westcott for a spectacular comeback album in the form of The Turn. The band’s fourth studio album was completely funded through Indiegogo, which shows that a strong fan base is what musicians should truly focus on when producing music.
There is a prominent “love is a gamble theme” going on throughout the album, but it is executed in a tasteful pop punk way, not a cheesy radio-friendly pop way. The Turn begins with “Undone”, which features the return of MxPx‘s Mike Herrera on bass, for the beginning of many romance focused tracks that include “Next to Me” (a Boys Like Girls/Taylor Swift “Two Is Better Than One”-esque duet featuring Darianne Westcott), “Young Love,” “When I Found You” (which will be discussed later on), and “Safe For Now” (accepting that everything is alright in the relationship at the moment).
“I’ll Beat The Odds” (another track that will be discussed later) marks the point in the album where the honeymoon phase is over and the relationship becomes more real, which tempts those that have a fear of commitment to run away. “Don’t Let It Fall Through” is quite literally about proving to the other person that they will fight to keep the relationship alive if they are willing to as well while “You Get What You Get” could easily be seen as the other’s counter song that pretty much says “you knew what you’re getting into when you started this thing”. The album’s ending tracks “Who You Are” and “Would You?” both embody a “with great heartbreak comes strength” theme as well as a realization that they ultimately have to turn away for their chance at finding the right one.
To be completely honest, I think they got it right with picking “When I Found You”, “I’ll Beat The Odds”, and “Who You Are” as the acoustic bonus tracks for the deluxe edition because they truly were the spotlights of the album. While each has a different theme to it, they all have musical sparkle that causes the listener to feel the emotions through both the originals and the acoustics. The musical journey of a guy who fell in love with a girl and watched as she changed into someone who would evidently break his heart and in turn cause him to see a whole new side of life is condensed into these three songs.
“When I Found You (feat. Alex Gaskarth)” reminds me of “Fall Back Into My Life” from 2007’s Truth In Sincerity, and the acoustic and alternate versions are just as romantic and heartfelt. Gaskarth and Young sound so alike and make for a sought after combo. The track is infectious and catchy and Young’s cute little growl during the final chorus adds to his passion.
Like I had mentioned earlier on, “I’ll Beat The Odds” tries to prove that no matter how many times they get pushed away they will always be fighting for “the dream of a perfect life”. He realizes that life and being in love with someone is never going to be simple, but he’s willing to walk through the good times and bad times with this person because he deeply cares for them. This song could even be an encouragement for anyone who may be going though a difficult time in their life and this person is willing to be there to pick up the pieces of a shattered individual.
The “love is a two way street and it won’t flourish if only one person is putting in the effort” idea is brought to life in the form of “Who You Are”. He poured all of of his love into a person who didn’t really care about breaking his heart when the time came, but in the end he became stronger from the experience and learned more about himself. The line “I’ve lost faith in who are” is the ultimate goodbye forever in the most biting way possible and causes the listener to give him a round of applause.
The Turn is a great example of what a pop-punk comeback album should look like and Amber Pacific has definitely been receiving the praise that they deserve from multiple platforms. There are obvious characteristics of their 2005 debut album The Possibility and the Promise as well as their second album weaved in, but they also add in modern alternative qualities that create an album that is of 2 successful periods of rock music. The only suggestion I had was for them to spread out their tracks with featured artists instead of having them in the beginning of the album, but overall it transitions well and shows that Amber Pacific is more than ready to get back in the game.