The debut full-length outing from the New Jersey-based post-hardcore unit, Broken arrives six years after Youth in Revolt's formation, and four years after their breakthrough 2014 EP Love Is a Liar's Game -- 2014 also saw the release of their quirky, punk-pop rendering of Lorde's "Royals." Broken may be the work of a completely retooled lineup, but the band's penchant for penning melody-driven, largely old-school-sounding, alt-kissed emo-punk in the vein of Sleeping with Sirens and Memphis May Fire remains largely intact. Hook-driven and spilling over with lyrics that reflect the band's one-dimensional moniker, there's little in the way of innovation to be found on the 11-track set. That said, Broken is an immensely well-executed exercise in punk-pop nostalgia, and songs like "Not Giving Up," the muscular title cut, and the heartfelt "Brisbane" (the latter of which, alongside the equally wistful "Only One," parses the emotional highs and lows of youth via the proven power of acoustic balladry) are as satisfying on a confectionary level as they are largely forgettable.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger