For Fans Of
Taking Back Sunday don’t make bad albums. Come at me if you will internet but consistency like this needs to be rewarded and respected. Six albums in and none of them need be written off due to poor quality. Number six, ‘Happiness Is,’ upholds the band’s strong legacy with more rock anthems for you to scream along with.
First single ‘Flicker, Fade’ is classic TBS, with huge chorus lines that feature a small amount of words but plenty of melody, constructed perfectly for the hug-your-friends-and-sing-a-longs that this band craft better than any other. Soft emotional verses beforehand? Check. Granted they haven’t kicked things off here with a new formula but when the song writing is this good and so unique to a point where no other band has really been able to replicate it, then they are excused for their repetition. If we can’t get this from TBS, we sure as hell aren’t getting it this good anywhere else, so have at it fellas.
Second single ‘Stood A Chance’ falls at the lighter, more poppy end of the band’s sound, catchy as hell, if one song on this record will get stuck in your head, it’s this one, complete with a floaty atmospheric breakdown not too dissimilar to the one in ‘What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost’ from the ‘Louder Now’ record. ‘Beat Up Car’ has been included in the group’s live set for a little while now and the studio version does well to capture that energy. The tight bounce of the rhythm section during the verses to the down-trodden guitar riffs of the chorus, there is a sense of urgency that runs throughout this track.
The band offers up a waltz beat in ‘Better Homes And Gardens’ backed by some 80’s sounding guitar lines that make this track an album highlight, as frontman Adam Lazzara gently sings "You’ll never be happy" before yelling "It Was All For Nothing," summing up the ways in which a divorce can make the love before it near meaningless.
The record closes with ‘We Were Younger Then’, a subtle hymn that has a gypsy folk feel and is certainly one of the more obscure and differently toned tracks on the record, followed by ‘Nothing At All’, an acoustic number that puts the focus on the vocals and stands out thanks to impressive harmonies and a mess of strings.
The reformed original Taking Back Sunday line-up is truly off and running and it’s comforting to know that they are still capable of the quality we have come to know and love from this band. ‘Happiness Is’ is yet another great rock album drenched in their signature style with plenty of songs that could make their way to becoming new fan favourites.
2. Flicker, Fade
3. Stood a Chance
4. All the Way
5. Beat Up Car
6. It Takes More
7. They Don’t Have Any Friends
8. Better Homes and Gardens
9. Like You Do
10. We Were Younger Then
11. Nothing at All