Smash Magazine Album Reviews

May/June 2021 Album Reviews

Check out my album reviews for issue 106 of Smash Magazine, including A Day to Remember and The Juliana Theory.

A Day to RememberYou’re Welcome Album Review

If it was possible to get whiplash just by hearing something, then there’d be a wave of rockers at the chiropractors with ADTR Syndrome. A long-standing staple for hardcore, emo, and scene kids everywhere, A Day to Remember (ADTR) is known for albums of hard-hitting tracks mixed with the occasional emotional anthem, but their latest release, You’re Welcome, is nothing but a grab-bag of oddly paired styles and tempos with often corny lyrics. For example, the bouncy “High Diving” quips, “It’s hard to practice what you preach / when life is a beach”—words more befitting a country song about Pina Coladas than a bitter rock song. Perhaps this album would be less of a letdown if two of the album’s pre-release singles hadn’t created so much anticipation and excitement by being epic jams—”Mindreader” and the banger “Resentment”—but other than a few other bearable songs, there are far more lows on this jerky rollercoaster than anything else. 

The Juliana TheoryA Dream Away Album Review

If you were an emo kid in the early 2000s, you may have had anywhere from a brief brush with to a full-on infatuation with The Juliana Theory. For those that fall into the latter category, their latest release, A Dream Away, may indeed feel like a dream. Seven of the eight beautifully composed tracks are stripped-down, reimagined versions of popular songs from their original, four full-length albums. Each track incorporates a combination of piano, strings, woodwinds, or other unique instruments to breathe new life into songs that are more than fifteen plus years old. Standout tracks include, “Into the Dark” and “If I Told You This Was Killing Me, Would You Stop?” The one new song, the more somber opener “Better Now,” pales in comparison to the reinvented tracks, but still has its own merits. Let’s hope this is only the beginning of a recurring dream that will give us more new or reimagined songs from the now duo.