Recently, I have been obsessed with The Summer Sets most recent album, Stories For Monday. While this album came out just over a year ago, I am just now listening to the whole thing through. I have heard some of the tracks prior to my recent obsession, but I figure now, it is time I give the album a formal review.
The album starts with a song called Figure Me Out. I think that it is so important that the band put this track first on the album. Figure Me Out is basically like a disclaimer to the listener saying: we have changed and so has our sound. The song talks about the bands struggle with identity and how they are too pop to be punk but too punk to be pop. I have always said that the first track on the album is the most important because it sets the tone for the rest of the album and I think The Summer Set nailed it with this choice. The song starts out fairly low key and does sound fairly pop but the chorus comes in sounding like a beautiful blend of pop and punk. This is by far one of my favorite songs on the album.
The second song on the album, The Night Is Still Young, starts out slow with a highly pop vibe. The song breaks out into a full pop chorus with a positive message saying don’t give up. This definitely isn’t my favorite song ever, but it honestly isn’t bad. Missin’ You, the third track has a different sound than the first two songs on the album, and it will definitely get your foot tapping. This song is one that you will want to blast with your windows down. Especially if you are moving on from your ex and are in a really good place. This song will let them know that you don’t need them.
Jean Jacket is another one of my favorites on the album. This reminds me a lot of The Summer Set’s older stuff and I think that’s why I like it so much. It also has more of a punk vibe without sounding punk at all and I’m not exactly sure how they do it, but it’s pure magic. The lyrics to this song are also really fun to just belt out. The next song on the album sounds like a little bit of a throw back and incorporates a lot of different sounds within the song. All My Friends, reminds me more of an Andy Grammar song than something from The Summer Set, but I’m not complaining because it is still a really great song. This is definitely one you can get into.
There is no arguing that Change Your Mind starts out completely pop. It is a highly electing song with some pretty punk lyrics. I really don’t like this song because it sounds like it’s having a sort of identity crisis. All Downhill From Here is arguably one of the more punk songs on the album. It definitely puts a smile on my face. Lyrically it is a fun song, but I have to say that the chorus is weak. This is definitely one of my least favorite songs, I feel like it doesn’t have a lot to offer. This song makes me want to make the argument that The Summer Set should just stick to pop music.
All In is a lot of fun. It sounds like a lot of the other songs on the album, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The first few verses have a nice beat but the second half of the chorus is pretty weak. Overall however, it’s not a bad song. Wonder Years is a really nostalgic song. For me, when I listen to it I feel like there is a slide show of memories going through my head and if as long can do that, you know it’s a good song. I can see my self with my dad and I love that this song is able to bring back some memories for me. Overall, this is another one of my favorites off of the album.
When The Party Ends (Can’t Hardly Wait), this song is another one that starts out sounding pretty punk but as soon as the vocals come in, it becomes a pop song. I think that this is another song that you’re going to want to roll down your windows to and drive down the empty highway at like three in the morning. Wasted is the final song on the album, and just like the first song, the last song is almost equally important because if you hate the last song on the album you’re going to be left with a bad feeling about the album as a whole. Wasted is probably my second favorite on the album. It has a great message and is a really fun song. I think that the lyrics are powerful. If you’re walking down the street listening to this song, you just feel motivated to do some adventurous things because you don’t want your youth to be wasted. Overall, I really like this song. It is a great end to the album and leaves you feeling great.
Overall, I really liked this album, despite it being mostly pop, The Summer Set has played warped tour and you don’t get there by banging out cookie cutter pop tracks. Their music is still influenced by a punk/rock vibe and that is one of the things that makes this album so great. Not only is this technically a good album, but it is lyrically great as well. I think that this is one album that definitely should have gotten more recognition and appreciation than it did. I liked that quite a fews songs on the album were so inspirational and I can honestly say that this album makes me want the warm weather to get here already so I can roll my windows down and turn this album up. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for The Summer Set. Overall, I want to rate this album a 7.75/10.