The debut album by emo-tinged indie rockers Rookie of the Year originally started as a solo project by singer/songwriter Ryan Dunson, and most of The Goodnight Moon sounds it, to the point that one suspects that at least some of these songs were constructed by recording electric guitar, keyboards, bass and drums over Dunson's existing acoustic guitar and vocal tracks. As a result of these relatively static song structures, there's a samey quality to The Goodnight Moon that detracts from Dunson's appealingly boyish vocals and solid melodic sense; "Set the Sails, Red Beret" and "Pop Destroyed the Scene" are both catchy pop-emo tunes in the style of the Juliana Theory, but each sounds better on its own than they do on an album where it's easy to notice how similar they are. Stylistic change-ups like the stark piano ballad "The Weekend" and the completely unexpected New Order vibe of the danceable, electronic "Life, Fall Fast Now" do serve to break up The Goodnight Moon; more musical variety of that sort would serve this promising band well.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason