Brand New

Deja Entendu

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As the popularity of emo and punk-pop plateaued, many bands had a lot to prove to stay in the game. As of 2003, Brand New had sidestepped any notion that they'd be stuck in the prototypical mold found on Your Favorite Weapon. Unlike their debut, Deja Entendu isn't all about bitter breakups and doesn't fall into a permanent punk-pop hole. Produced by Steven Haigler (Pixies, Quicksand), this sophomore effort finds Brand New maturing, reaching for textures and song structures instead of clichés. They still, however, alternate their full-on blasts with slower acoustic work, which doesn't hurt. Many antiromantic lyrics such as "my tongue is the only muscle on my body that works harder than my heart" saturate the disc, but there's still some resentment with downers such as "I hope you come down with something they can't diagnose and don't have a cure for." "The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows" is one of the stronger tracks and isn't so much a fresh entry as it is a rewrite of their semihit "Jude Law and a Semester Abroad." It's not quite déjà vu; it's just consistent.

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