The Necessary

This Is Us

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Not every alternative rock band that came along in the '90s or early 2000s has lived and breathed introspection. In some circles, there has been something of a backlash against all of the ultra-introspective, ultra-serious-minded lyrics of the modern rock scene; bands ranging from Powder, Morningwood, the Tallboys, Pop*Star*Kids, and Kill Hannah to the Strokes, Jet, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the White Stripes have represented a return to sexy, hook-filled, wildly decadent fun in rock music. But there is still a tremendous amount of introspection taking place, and one would be hard-pressed to find a more introspective 2004 release than the Necessary's debut album, This Is Us. Representing Greensboro, NC's emo scene, the Necessary will never be mistaken for a party band. Whether they are rocking aggressively (albeit in a melodic way) or slowing things down to a ballad tempo, the North Carolina residents spend the entire album analyzing their feelings, thoughts, emotions, and romantic experiences; most of the time, the conclusions that they draw are on the melancholy side. This Is Us ends up sounding like it was taken from the diary of a troubled young man who is in his late teens or early twenties and is trying desperately to make some sense out of life -- in other words, this is textbook emo. Anyone who has spent a lot of time listening to Sunny Day Real Estate, Texas Is the Reason, Green Day, the Get Up Kids, or Juliana Theory won't find This Is Us to be the least bit groundbreaking; regardless, this isn't a bad album -- derivative and mildly uneven, but not bad. Although not exceptional, the writing is decent more often than not -- and those who aren't totally burned out on emo will find that This Is Us does have its moments.

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