Happiness Is is the sixth studio album emo rockers Taking Back Sunday. Formed in 1999 and showing no signs of slowing down, the New York based band released it’s latest album on March 18th under Hopeless Records. There were only two singles released; “Flicker, Fade” on January 14th and “Stood a Chance” on March 3rd. The album sounds very much the same as their earlier works with catchy melodies and lyrics that will get stuck in your head for quite some time; this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Though, in a way this album is a little more mature than ones of the past; a change from the days of “MakeDamnSure”, there’s not really as much of an edge or spunk. However it should also be taken into consideration that in today’s music market, making something that’s ‘good’, isn’t good enough and might not cut it; staying safe and sticking with a style you’re used to in a time that all about change (thanks, Obama) can be pretty risky. It seems the scale of how awesome something is these days has been warped to where good is more the equivalent of ‘meh’. Again, not a bad thing necessarily, just something to keep in mind. While Happiness Is is certainly a far cry from Tell All Your Friends it shows how far the band has come, and how they’ve mellowed and matured over their 15 years together, though there have been a good amount of line up changes over that time. Good bands are like a fine wine, they get better with time. It’s not a horrible album and has received generally good feedback from critics and fans alike with a Metacritic score of 74/100, which if we’re doing letter grades is a C-average, which seems about right.
Rating: 3.5/5- I listened through this album a few times for a few days and tried to really get into it, like I do with everything that I review; I want to point out good and not so good aspects as I believe in balance and having facts as well as opinion (that law student part of me is always there…always watching). And I have to say I wasn’t a huge fan of this, it wasn’t what I expected, though I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting. It’s not horrible by any means, but for me personally it’s very mellow-toe tapping and something you’ll hum along to-but mellow; like something you could play at work and it would be okay. It does get in your head, like much of their music does and has throughout my life since I basically grew up with Taking Back Sunday. Give Happiness Is a listen for yourself and see what you think!