Remembering what Warped sounded like when I started going in 2002, and comparing it to this album, it’s hard to believe it’s the same tour. There’s nothing rebellious here; nothing sounds innovative, pissed off, or noteworthy. Everything is over processed, love sick, white washed and safe. While I have a flicker of hope the album producers just picked a series of sub-par songs from each artist, and the general show will be better… it’s a flicker, and a weak one at that.
I thought maybe my memory was deceiving me. Was Warped really that good a decade ago? Is my nostalgia just editing out the bad? A quick re-watch of the 2002 documentary, and a look at the line up on Wiki says yes, it really was a punk show in the past. Yet now, Warped Tour is starting to sound pretty Top 20. Did the tour get picked up by MTV and I just missed the merger?
Individual tracks are often unpalatable. Summer Set’s “Boomerang” is not only pure pop in its beat, the chorus calls out Beyonce and Jay-Z by name. GoRadio’s “I Won’t Lie” sounds like a country song with it’s low, yodeled vocals. Goldhouse’s “Nothing to Lose” is the sort of bad synthesizer mush the elderly think is dance music, which clears the floor whenever anyone under the age of 40 hears it. Woe, is Me’s “I came, I saw, I conquered” is so spastic I actually started laughing.
Somewhere around the mid-point the artists do get a little better. The closing track, The Exposed’s “Sleeping’s a Waste of My Youth”, is a pretty catchy summery pop-punk song. Letlive and Citizen also have solid contributions. However, at the point you get to these tracks, most listeners will have already given up. Any value an individual act has is lost under the weight of being included with so much drivel.
As a collection, the transitions between tracks are lacking. Laughable hip-hop attempts follow hair-screamo. In other places, similar artists and songs are placed one after another in such a way you can’t tell where one ends and the next begins. You probably made better mixed tapes in high school, when you sat by the radio waiting to press the record button on your Walkman.
It’s a good value, only if you weigh number of tracks (50) against the overall cost of album. If I had to own one of the two discs, I would get the second- it has marginally better artists. In terms of quality of the compilation, the 2013 Warped Tour Compilation’s a bust.
My favorite part of the album? The advanced copy’s typo on Bring Me the Horizon’s track, resulting in it being listed as “Go to Hell for Heaven’s Sak.” When an unintentionally blasphemous dick joke is the best part of an album, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.