This album has gotten a lot of hype over the course of the past few months, and it’s been very well-deserved. The beats and production are incredible, and the lyrics at once demonstrate bravado and introspection. This is not a typical rap album. While its length has led me to not listen to it quite as much as if it were a bit shorter, there is little to dislike about these songs, and there is no filler. Even though I don’t listen to much hip-hop/rap and I was not really a Kanye fan before, this album is extremely enjoyable and highly recommended.
If you listen to the first thirty seconds or so of this album, you’ll understand what’s so great about it. This is happy music, plain and simple. While at times their wit might be a touch over-the-top, Punchline has the ability to make lyrics and melodies that really resonate with me and stay in my head. The album’s kind of like a series of voicemails from a best friend, and I mean that in the best way possible. If you like pop-punk with a positive attitude, this is a release that’s not to be missed (and check out their last two albums, too).
If you, like I, enjoy powerful, soulful vocals with interesting instrumentation, and haven’t listened to this album, stop reading now and go do it. While some have said that this album was somewhat like a Jonny Craig solo album with the rest of Emarosa as his backing band, I’d say that it’s just the group coming together to make complete music. Rather than having the vocals and music fight, they perfectly complement each other. These are the best lyrics Jonny’s ever written, and this album was one of the first to make me actually pay attention to what the drummer was doing. Top to bottom, this is just a great record.
Wow. While it felt like I was one of the few to enjoy the last Senses Fail album, I could recognize that it was not quite at the level of Still Searching, and was nervous that The Fire would fail in the same ways. I am glad that I was wrong. While some of the guitar parts are somewhat reminiscent of older material, it’s a non-issue considering that they are really great guitar parts. Buddy’s screams are back and as good as ever, and every lyric hits home. As a rejuvenated fan of the band, I can say without a second thought that this is the definitive Senses Fail album.
Prior to the release of this album, I read an interview with Vic Fuentes saying that the band had taken the time to do exactly what they wanted for these songs, and it really shows. Though his vocals are somewhat of an acquired taste, they are perfect for the band’s style and his lyrics are great. This is a dynamic, emotional, and diverse album that really surprised me in the best way possible. If you take the time to really listen to this record, the details make it one of the most whole releases to come out of the scene in recent memory.
- The Audition – Great Danger
- Sleeping With Sirens – With Ears To See And Eyes To Hear
- Anberlin – Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place
- Ivoryline – Vessels
- Mimicking Birds – Mimicking Birds
Top 5 EPs
- Go Radio – Do Overs And Second Chances
- Isles & Glaciers – The Hearts Of Lonely People
- Take Cover – Waiting In The Moment
- We Are The In Crowd – Guaranteed To Disagree
- A Rocket To The Moon (Ft. Larkin Poe) – The Rainy Day Sessions
Top 10 Songs
- 1. “Power” – Kanye West
- 2. “Broken Vs. The Way We Were Born” – Emarosa
- 3. “Waiting In The Moment” – Take Cover
- 4. “When Dreaming Gets Drastic” – Go Radio
- 5. “Stay Away From My Friends” – Pierce The Veil
- 6. “The Art Of Living” – The Audition
- 7. “Fuck You” – Cee Lo Green
- 8. “If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn” – Sleeping With Sirens
- 9. “Instincts” – Ivoryline
- 10. “Bed Intruder Song” – Antoine Dodson & The Gregory Brothers
- Hellogoodbye – Would It Kill You?
- Non-Patrick Stump Post-Fall Out Boy Projects (Black Cards, The Damned Things)
Best Album Art:
- Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise
Best Live Show:
- Bayside – (6/25 at Mr. Small’s, Pittsburgh, PA)
- Emmure – (7/7 at Warped Tour, Pittsburgh, PA)
Best New Discoveries
- Sleeping With Sirens
- Take Cover
- Woe, Is Me
- We Are The In Crowd
- Bruno Mars
Most Anticipated 2011
- Go Radio
- City & Colour
- Jeremy Larson
- Panic! At The Disco
- Patrick Stump
- Bright Eyes
- Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows
- Young Jeezy
- …and if Modest Mouse announces an album, it’s automatically #1.