"Coming Home" loses punk, pop
This article originally appeared in The Tiger on October 6, 2006 | PRINT

As underground pop-punk bands rise to the surface, many rarely survive receiving idioms such as "one-hit wonder" and "sell-out." For the bands who survive, maintaining labels and developing a stronger fan base becomes a sticky situation. Releasing their seventh album, New Found Glory hopes to do just that, especially after "Catalyst" failed to evolve their music. Their first few songs immediately become catchy tunes, but after that, New Found Glory struggles to keep the listener's attention. What happened to the extreme pop-punk genre where every song captivated its audience?

The album first sucks you in with "Oxygen," classically singing about the girl you never want to lose. It's an excellent first song to show that New Found Glory still has poppy potential. Belting out the chorus and tapping your fingers to the beat will certainly be side effects to breathing in too much "Oxygen."

The next few songs represent the musical variation that has always been a difficult task for New Found Glory. Their album "Nothing Gold Can Stay" from 1999 sounds extremely repetitious. Since then, New Found Glory overpasses such echoing tracks. Introducing piano and keys into their songs definitely adds some variation that New Found Glory needs. Strings even emerge in the latter half of their CD reflecting a very subtle version of Yellowcard's "Ocean Avenue." Finally, New Found Glory effectively experiments with such variations.

This is not to mention the appealing "Do, do, dos" featured in their second song "Hold My Hand." How can one not sing along? Sounds like Blink-182's "Online Songs" and Anberlin's "Time and Confusion" chants. "Do, do, do" will become that evil little song embedded in your mind.

After the fifth track, the CD begins to drag out and slow down. Listen to this half when you've had a rough day and want to mope around. Look up the chords to a few songs and learn how to play some New Found Glory. Or bust out your famous air drums for good measure (you'll be able to keep up).

However, New Found Glory attempts to circle back to the better half of the CD with the emotional "When I Die." This track marks the most meaningful song on the CD. Guitarist Chad Gilbert reflects on the loss of his father from a heart attack in 2004. If the emotion doesn't catch you, then this CD is done for you.

In the end, New Found Glory strays clear away from pop-punk. Similar to the transformation Blink-182 made from "Take Off Your Pants and Jacket" to "Blink-182," New Found Glory strives to create a more mature and less pop CD. They certainly accomplish that, but now fear losing their younger pop-punk crowd.

Those accepting of the change will appreciate the calmer NFG. Definitely borrow "Coming Home" from a friend or even see them on tour in Atlanta, Myrtle Beach or Charlotte come this November.

Views: 653