Album of the week: Taking Back Sunday — Tidal Wave

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 at 10:28 PM
Album of the week: Taking Back Sunday — Tidal Wave by Kimberly Firestine

If you’re looking to listen to another album from Taking Back Sunday that’s reminiscent of early 2000s emo/alternative hits and the girl that dumped you in high school, this is not the album you want. Instead, it might be the album you need.

Taking Back Sunday has often been considered a band that has pioneered the way for a lot of today’s pop-punk and alternative musicians. They have, however, done some of their own growing since 2002 and moved away from the “nostalgia act” stereotype.

Following a summer-long stint on the Taste of Chaos Tour with co-headliners Dashboard Confessional, Saosin and a mix of other bands like Saves The Day and The Starting Line, Taking Back Sunday released their seventh studio album, “Tidal Wave,” on Sept. 17 with Hopeless Records.

The 12-track record is a new look at the same great band, giving off vibes from classic rock artists like Tom Petty and old-school punk bands like The Ramones.

June 28 saw the release of the album’s first single — also called “Tidal Wave” — along with its music video. “Tidal Wave” is our first glimpse of a newer sound from the band, giving listeners, old and new, a good start to this album era, but it’s not the best track by any means.
That just might be found in the almost haunting “I Felt It Too,” the sixth song on the record. Standing as one of their best, softer tracks since “Divine Intervention”off of “Louder Now,” the overwhelming emotion hits hard, on both a vocal and instrumental front. It’s the type of song that takes you in and drags you under, holding you down for 5 minutes and 23 seconds until you give up fighting for control. It’s just one of those songs that hits you hard, and when you get back up, you’re not really sure what just happened. Much like that title force of nature.

“I know you’re tired/I feel it, too,” sings frontman Adam Lazzara. He continues, “I sank into myself/Oh, I lost my place and I hope you didn’t notice.” The final track, titled “I’ll Find A Way To Make It What You Want,” is a strange ending to the album, but the lyricism really makes it work.

“Give me time and give me strength/Give me more than you can take/Give me time and give me soul/Exercise your self control,” sings Lazzara.

The most important thing about this album is the sense of comfortability you get from the band. Not in the, “it makes you feel safe,” way, but in the, “you can definitely tell these guys are happy with what they’re doing,” way. Nothing feels forced or rehearsed. It’s genuine music from a genuine band.

This is not your older brother or sister’s Taking Back Sunday album. This is not a remake of “Tell All Your Friends,” “Where You Want To Be,” or “Louder Now.” You may not even notice that it’s the same band that “Happiness Is” came from. “Tidal Wave” is it’s own monster, and one that everyone should be welcoming into their homes.

You can see Taking Back Sunday on tour this fall with You Blew It!, Loose Talk and Mammoth Indigo. “Tidal Wave” is now available in stores and streaming online.

Standout tracks: “Fences,” “I Felt It Too” and “I’ll Find A Way To Make It What You Want.” 

Kimberly Firestine is the arts editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at

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