Reviewed by: Melissa Komar
Happiness Is, the sixth and latest eleven track album by Taking Back Sunday, is just that: happiness in the form of a blissful, musical walk that takes you back to the greatness churned out by the original and now reunited line-up.
While the album opens with an inconsequential intro, the first full length track, “Flicker Fade”, drips in reverie to the days of TBS circa 2002-2004, both musically and lyrically with front-man Adam Lazzara crooning, “If you should change your name, I’d love you just the same” and “you wonder why it always ends the same”. There’s no denying the sound is classic TBS and you’ve heard it before, but in no way should that be a deterrent in chalking up their latest endeavor as trite.
The song-ending chorals and thumping bass drum build-ups could be deemed so last summer, but they still have the same energy now as they did back then, but it’s more refined and more mature. Sure, Flava Flav isn’t jumping up and down with a giant, pimped-out clock, but there’s a coolness amid the tracks that is definitely more tuned to stand the test of time.
“Beat Up Car” and “Better Homes and Gardens” are the epitomes of what fans have come to know as retro TBS and what newcomers should revel in as musical greatness. The simple lyrical genius still pervades on all the tracks with “Like You Do” lending a beautiful example when Lazzara recalls, “I was keeping to myself waiting on some train, when your heels click-clacked the platform, to my heart they did the same”.
The album will leave you speechless and the only thing left to do is to tell all your friends. Taking Back Sunday has nail-downed, even amidst bitter songs of break-up and regret, just what happiness is.