The great state of Minnesota accidentally presented the rest of the country with perfection in the creation of Motion City Soundtrack. As a power pop band formed in 1997, these five guys have fortunately taken a casual ride on the steady wings of success. Their “big break” came in 2003 with a re-release of their debut album, I Am the Movie, and luck followed. They conquered the so-called sophomore slump with Commit This to Memory, their most successful album to date, and demolished other obstacles as they added Even If it Kills Me and My Dinosaur Life to their repertoire. Almost two years later, confirmation of a fifth studio album, Go, appeared with an estimated release date of Spring 2012. As a teaser, MCS recently released Go’s first single, “True Romance.”
Unfortunately, the eagerness for new music was not quenched with this recent release. Although MCS satisfies while utilizing old tricks to create new material, the song is just unexciting. The beginning sounds promising with a simple melody and lyrics like, “You/better believe it’s true/you know I do oo I do.” Even the usual self-loathing seems intriguing with lines like, “I’m a screw up of epic portions/a walking hand grenade/ I’m pathetic/overly apologetic/I’m a tightrope tragedy.” However, they fail to improve. Self-hatred is prevalent, but there are hints of affection like, “There’s nothing that matters when I’m all wrapped up in you,” creating an awkward atmosphere. The distinct lines between love and angst become blurry, and the song’s meaning is lost in generic lyrics.
As a transition eventually occurs, the song remains pretty constant- that’s to say, meek. The melody becomes unimportant as it transforms into just background music, never altering into anything truly substantial. A slight breakdown in the middle seems to offer something eventful, but is short lived. It soon transitions back into blandness, leaving nothing to grasp hold of.
There’s something to be said about Motion City Soundtrack’s perseverance and their ability to thrive. With success in the musical side of their career, and the launch of their own label, The Boombox Generation, they’ve proved their flexibility. However, “True Romance” leaves less to be excited about. Although they do not typically disappoint, this song is short of their usual spunk with no room for enjoyment. Hopes are still high for Go, though, as the June 12th release date approaches. With an established positive reputation, they’re sure to produce something worthy.