Although billed as an emo band, the Graduate take just as much inspiration from atmospheric ‘80s rock and the melodic, poppy material of latter day Jimmy Eat World. Their first release for Razor & Tie (and second album overall) relies on a familiar format -- slick, minor-key songs turned into towering anthems, with falsetto vocals and delayed guitar riffs that suggest the influence of U2 -- but the Graduate tackle the template with as much conviction as anyone else. This makes Only Every Time a lesson in coloring within the lines, not thinking outside the box. The trick loses its luster toward the end of the album, particularly for those who don’t normally listen to this sort of open-armed, Technicolor pop/rock, but the Graduate known their audience and cater to them specifically, resulting in an album tailored to the same crowd that made Mutemath, Mobile, and Copeland popular.
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AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey