Sticky sweet pop melodies, explosive pop-punk chord progressions, "sensitive guy" lyrics. Yep, this should all sound pretty darn familiar if you're a rock fan circa the early 21st century, as there's been an endless stream of bands (for years by this point) that meet all the prerequisites of the aforementioned checklist. And on their 2007 release, Cities, there are certain moments that you can definitely add Anberlin to this list. Thankfully, they don't specialize in that annoying frat-boy-esque shtick that some pop-punk bands do; instead, Anberlin can be quite an ambitious bunch that go the emo route. While songs such as the album opening "Godspeed" sounds like your average pop-punk band of the moment, tracks such as the acoustic guitar-driven "The Unwinding Cable Car" is emo at its most naked (and includes some pretty darn impressive vocal harmonies). But for the most part, the tunes sound like a hopeful trying to win over the judges in the latest episode of Rockstar, especially on such tracks as "Adelaide" and "Hello Alone." Nothing too groundbreaking here, but nothing cringe-worthy, either.
by Greg Prato