Put your red editing pens away. I know you all have anxiously waited for the chance to grade Mayday Parade’s new album, if only to snidely criticize the Jason-less follow-up to 2007’s A Lesson In Romantics. Open your minds back up and let’s take a look at Anywhere But Here.
The vibe here is different. Anywhere But Here might be the new Mayday Parade album, but it doesn’t resemble its predecessor almost at all at times. Many of the new songs would fit right into All Time Low’s catalog or even Acceptance‘s in terms of song structure and style. Rather than setting up listeners for huge, dual-vocalist outros, Mayday emphasizes bigger pop/rock choruses than ever. Opener “Kids In Love” has a great bridge into a perfect head-bopping pop/rock chorus. It’s not revolutionary by any means, but there’s not a thing I’d change, which seems to be a theme throughout the album.
With videos for both “Anywhere But Here” and “The Silence,” it seems that we get to pick our favorite single. The former is a carefree hit with a great key change to close things out, while the latter is much more modern rock than you’d ever expect about of Mayday. Both are winners.
The above-average guitar playing of Mayday versus their competition helps make these boys stand out still. It’s all fun, it’s all catchy, and everything is super clean. “Still Breathing” shows it all with a picked rhythm and a strong chorus riff.
Those of you who won’t let the last album go should enjoy “If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?” and “Bruised and Scarred.” Either of these tracks could have been A Lesson In Romantics B-sides.
Several songs here are definite humming-between-classes tunes. Good luck getting “Save Your Heart,” “Get Up” and “The End” out of your head, though my surprise track is “Center of Attention.” The slight programming and electronic-sounding harmony track are new to Mayday and are executed well here.
Yes, I would consider A Lesson In Romantics superior. But you’re a fool if you completely disregard this record because one guy left the band. Mayday Parade has once again created a complete record that is incredibly pleasant in a completely new way.