Taking Back Sunday


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Long Island emo icons Taking Back Sunday celebrate two decades together with their first greatest-hits album, the aptly titled Twenty. Since forming in Amityville, New York in 1999, the band has undergone numerous line-up shifts while maintaining a strong chart presence, especially during its mid- to late-2000s heyday, when albums like Where You Want to Be (2003), Louder Now (2006), and New Again (2009) all enjoyed single-digit placements in Billboard's Top 200. Their anthemic and frequently raucous rendering of punk, emo, and screamo made them favorites in the U.K., Australia, and Japan, where they enjoyed chart success and made tour stops. As far as anthologies go, Twenty sticks to a pretty standard format, offering a chronological track list that features the expected highlights from each of their seven studio albums, along with a pair of new songs tacked on at the end for good measure and added freshness. Singer Adam Lazzara and drummer Mark O'Connell remain the constant throughlines on each of these tracks, with founding guitarist and occasional co-vocalist John Nolan not far behind. Mid-period guitarist and co-singer Fred Mascherino also stakes his claim on heavy-hitters like "A Decade Under the Influence" and "MakeDamnSure," though his tenure only lasted until 2007. Casual fans will know the big early-era hits like "Cute Without the 'E' (Cut from the Team)" and "You're So Last Summer" with later cuts like 2014's massive "Flicker, Fade" and 2016's shockingly catchy "Tidal Wave" also holding their own in Taking Back Sunday's canon. As for the two new songs, "All Ready to Go" is a solid-enough cut with plenty of energy, while the mournful, piano-led "A Song for Dan" feels like a bit of an outlier and an anticlimactic closer. Still, like the other songs in this retrospective, it's a document of where this band is in 2019 and does little to mar this otherwise strong career-spanning set.

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