Taking Back Sunday

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Breaking Pangaea: A Cannon To A Whisper (2001), 6.5/10
Tell All Your Friends (2002), 6/10
Where You Want To Be (2004), 6.5/10
Louder Now (2006), 6/10
Straylight Run: Straylight Run (2004), 6.5/10
Straylight Run: The Needles The Space (2007), 6.5/10
Color Fred: Bend To Break (2007), 5/10
New Again (2009), 4.5/10

Breaking Pangaea were an emocore band from Philadelphia featuring drummer Will Noon, guitarist Fred Mascherino and bassist Matt Rubano. Their only album, A Cannon To A Whisper (Undecided, 2001), contained the lengthy progressive emo psychodrama Turning. The group disbanded after the EP "Phoenix (Equal Vision, 2003).

Taking Back Sunday were founded in New York by guitarists Eddie Reyes and John Nolan. Tell All Your Friends (Victory, 2002) featured vocalist Adam Lazzara, bassist Shaun Cooper and drummer Mark O'Connell, and was highlighted by vocal harmonies and a twin guitar attack, with bitter punk overtones, that were unusual for the emo genre.

When John Nolan and Shaun Cooper formed Straylight Run and hired Will Noon, Fred Mascherino and Matt Rubano joined Taking Back Sunday. Where You Want To Be (Victory, 2004) maintained the same guitar dynamics, the same soaring and subsiding melodies, and propelled them to stardom thanks to the single A Decade Under the Influence and the slow ballad New American Classic.

After a handful of songs for movie soundtracks (This Photograph Is Proof, Your Own Disaster, Error Operator), Taking Back Sunday comfortably concocted another batch of teenage melodramas on Louder Now (Warner Bros, 2006), such as Make Damn Sure, What's It Feel Like to Be A Ghost, the ballad Divine Intervention and the closer I'll Let You Live, a typical Mascherino meditation. This would remain their bestselling album.

Straylight Run debuted with Straylight Run (2004), a pensive, adult work that relied on male-female vocal harmonies and on atmospheric piano accompaniments (The Perfect Ending, Now It's Done, Existentialism on Prom Night, Mistakes We Knew We Were Making). Michelle Nolan further grew up as a leading vocalist on their second album, The Needles The Space (2007), that marked a quantum jump in arrangement. The most emotional songs now enjoyed small tasty instrumental touches: The Words We Say (with accordion and glockenspiel), The Miracle That Never Came (with trumpet), How Do I Fix My Head? (with electronics and drum loops), Take It To Manhattan (with handclaps). Nonetheless, John Nolan's Warren Zevon-ian soul surfaced again in robust piano elegies such as We'll Never Leave Again, Take It To Manhattan and especially Soon We'll Be Living In The Future.

Taking Back Sunday's guitarist Fred Mascherino launched a side project, the Color Fred, with Bend To Break (2007), a rather bland collection of Taking Back Sunday-sounding songs (If I Surrender).

Taking Back Sunday's New Again (Warner, 2009), replacing Fred Mascherino with Matthew Fazzi, veered towards U2-style arena-oriented punk-pop (Sink Into Me, Summer Man).

The original lineup reunited for Taking Back Sunday (2011), a collection of well-behaved pop songs like Faith and El Paso and including even a dance-pop number, Money.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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