In Case You Missed It! – DS Reviews Taking Back Sunday’s “152”

Taking Back Sunday has been ruling over our hearts for decades now, let’s be real. Their dropping this album out of nowhere has taken a lot of us by surprise and has us all gassed up for a tour (at least I am). These guys have been making bops since “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From the Team)” winning our hearts in 2002, and they’ve stayed there ever since. They’re a staple in our pop-punk world and the fact they’re still cranking out bangers 22 years later has me so excited for our music industry’s journey from here on out. 152 has been such a blast to listen to and have the honor to review.

Alright, so jumping into the first track of 152, “Amphetamine Smiles.” It’s a beautifully written song that takes us back to their roots to originally win our hearts. The lyrics tell a story of someone telling one they love to stop their addiction and/or the road they’re going down, while also going down the same road to do nothing for themselves. “You better save yourself before you try // And save somebody else” is a clear indication of my interpretation, but the song could still have other meanings. Song interpretation, I feel, is always in the power of the listener.

The second track had me nearly in tears. “S’old” was seen as an homage to growing up and trying to stay the same spry and chipper kid you once were (if you were that kid). The instrumentals remind me of the very classic-sounding Taking Back Sunday that we all know and love. It reflects the upbeat and almost reassuring sound of the instrumentals as he’s begging us through the lyrics to realize we’re all going to get old, but it’s okay. It’s coming to terms with the fact that we are all going to grow up whether we like it or not and we really should just make the best of it and live as if we are young again. Life’s too short to just let it go by.

“The One” coming up as number 3 on the album is a sweet love story with a cliffhanger, at least from my interpretation. It has a somber and maybe a forelonging feeling almost to the instrumental. Talking of letting someone into their mess and not caring because they believed they were “The One”. Telling them to take the time they needed to take, with no specification. “Still the words that I can’t say go on and on and on and on” speaking of a possible difference that wasn’t resolved in the remaining track’s lyrics. It’s quite beautiful and I enjoy the multiple interpretations this track can give with its vague story, while still loving and enjoying the instrumentals.

“Keep Going” has been my anthem since listening to this album. It’s an extremely uplifting song with an upbeat and fun instrumental that makes you feel like you can get ANYTHING done that you set your mind to. It’s about growing by yourself and some of those who are closest around you not growing with you, therefore the differences become so different, there’s a fallout and the misunderstanding is so great, they’ve got to just “Keep Going” and move on. “The problem isn’t that I’ve changed // The problem is that you’ve stayed the same.”

“I Am the Only One Who Knows You” is a beautiful break for the instrumentals. We love Taking Back Sunday’s classic pop-punk sound, but who doesn’t love a slow-tempo song? As somber as the topic seems to be, I find this to be the most comforting song on the album. As a mom of 3, my youngest being 5 months old, losing yourself (let alone admitting it) is never an easy journey. Despite the religious undertone in the lyrics, I feel if you can hear that and simply think of a person or whatever higher power(s) you’ve chosen to believe in, makes this song relatable to almost any and everyone whose ears it’ll touch. Probably in my top 3 favorites on here. Also a perfect midpoint for the album (when listening from cover to cover, that is).

“Quit Trying” brings up the 6th spot on this 10-song release and honestly, I love the journey this album is bringing us on. Here it’s rock bottom. Its instrumentals, again, sound slightly somber, then it just explodes and has a sound of reassurance and comfort. I’m not sure how that works, myself, although I get this sense of reassurance of not feeling alone in sharing the feelings of the song. It’s comforting to know more people feel this way. I’m sure everyone has reached a breaking point of just not wanting to try anymore, and this song is the ANTHEM for those in that spot, I feel it could even have a good chance of unintentionally pulling some of us from the dark if they listen to this album cover to cover and go on the journey.

The next track very much has a different tone. “Lightbringer” has a more modern sounding intro and an echoey vocal start out, before it shoots into an upbeat instrumental. The song itself seems to me to be about asking if they’re forcing something that isn’t. Whether it be forcing a relationship to happen or trying to force it NOT to happen. Either way, it seems the song is supposed to have an upbeat and reassuring tone, which I am finding to love as a theme on this album.

“New Music Friday” is a super catchy song about being honest. I love that this puts a lot of people on blast. It isn’t easy asking for help. A lot of times people want to retreat into themselves and just bottle everything up. But this song is very much a callout to those who can’t ask for help to just TRY. “Do you need somebody else? // Can you live inside yourself? // Do you need somebody else? // I can’t be, I can’t be somebody else.” These few lines tell me that you can’t go it alone. You can’t live inside yourself and expect to get by without difficulty, so having help from others is okay!

This next track is, in my opinion, an anthem for when someone escapes a toxic situation. I’ve grown to love this song and bop to it often. It’s got a very upbeat instrumental and freeing lyrics that anyone would want to scream at the tops of their lungs. “Juice2 Me” has so many good lyrics, that I have a hard time choosing which to highlight, but I think my favorite lines have to be where he emphasizes the importance of understanding it’s okay to love someone enough to know they aren’t the right one for you and to let them go. “I love you, but I’d rather live without you.” It’s difficult to come to that decision and crossroads, and this is the perfect anthem for those going through that to blast from their speakers!

Last, but not least, “The Stranger.” This song is the calmest of all the tracks on the intro front. It then picks up into a catchy and bouncy instrumental with just as catchy of a melody to flow with it. The drums stick out for me in this song and I genuinely am a sucker for a good drum beat. It gives the song quite a bit of dimension and then when you get towards the end of the track, there’s a cool, ear-catching part that has me listening to it more often than most of the others!

Taking Back Sunday has been cherished by us for years, and this album just proves why we continue to love and admire them as artists throughout all these years! HUGE thanks to them for dropping this album for us to use to get through our crap, again as they’ve been doing for over 2 decades now.

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