Most all of New Found Glory's releases have been exuberant pop-punk affairs, practically serving alongside the work of blink-182 as the blueprint to the entire genre for the early 2000s. The guys have been nothing if not consistent for their legion of fans, but there's something about their fifth album, Coming Home, that begs for those earlier fans, who may have retreated in the face of TRL superstardom, to return. It's not that this album blatantly hearkens back to the days of "Hit or Miss." From the album's packaging to the comfortable nature of the music, it actually feels more mature (though the guys really haven't matured at all) in a way that is catchy without seeming to care about radio accessibility. Of course, the songs are absolutely accessible, infectious tracks like "Hold My Hand," "It's Not Your Fault," and "Too Good to Be" instantly ready to tear up the airwaves. Rather, the band is now in a position to simply enjoy itself without needing to forcibly shove saccharine-saturated hooks down the throats of anyone standing nearby. And they seem to realize this fact, reflected in the at-ease spirit of Coming Home. Developing family life (including new marriages and children) and years of experience have conjured up some of NFG's happiest and content lyrics in a while. Heartache is still present (though mostly attributed to familial woes and not high school-related drama), as the music remains energetic and naturally fun. Jordan Pundik's voice is still inherently nasal, but the sugary edge has been removed, leaving him sounding fuller, thus easier to handle. Renowned rock producer Thom Panunzio (who's worked with Tom Petty, Ozzy Osbourne, Joan Jett, Alice Cooper, to name a few) undoubtedly had a hand in this transformation, but his expertise simply tweaked what the guys already had, instead of making them something they're not. Make no mistake -- this is a New Found Glory album through and through. It's full of melody, personality, and all the best attributes of their earlier work presented in a way that grows more memorable with each listen. Is it their best work yet? That's debatable. But it sure is satisfying and proves that NFG is far from ready to surrender to all the fresh-faced bands nipping at their heels.
AllMusic Review by Corey Apar