When a band creates a masterful opus, a well-rounded piece of work, it must play on their minds when they enter the hostile studio to muster up something that will outclass it. New York band Taking Back Sunday did so with eagerness and a collection of songs they thought would be memorable, but their follow-up album “New Again” never really propelled to the heights that were needed.
The previous compendium “Louder Now” was a hard album to outdo, as it was nearly flawless. It garnered the band many hits and raised the bar in terms of rock and songwriting prowess. Lead singer Adam Lazzara sang with grit and determination on songs such as ‘What It Feel Like To Be A Ghost’ and the anthem ‘MakeDamnSure,’ which would rally new fans and exposure.
“New Again” didn’t have the same hits, and it lacked the musicality that was apparent on “Louder Now.” It must be difficult to crank out songs that could take on the juggernauts of past releases. Taking Back Sunday tried and “New Again” did have songs of quality, so wasn’t a total failure. It just didn’t carry the same flair.
The album was rather raw too. Taking Back Sunday didn’t go for polished dramatics anyway, but “New Again” was harsher in terms of sonic value. Lyrically, the record still had those moments when you’d fall into Lazzara’s often misconstrued world, taking on his demons with him at the helm.
“New Again” wasn’t in the same bracket as “Louder Now,” and it wouldn’t even come close to its prominence, but Taking Back Sunday experimented, and showed they hadn’t slowed down one bit.