Just short of admitting all of my neuroses to a bunch of strangers, it seems pertinent to start a review of Intersections with the beguilingly cliche statement that you’ll like this if you often find yourself alone. Evan Weiss has become known for his sheer proliferation of music, a sort-of workman in the emo age. Which is fine and true, but what you really get on a stellar album like Intersections is a painting of a person forced from the safehaven of their mind. It’s music with all of the intricate guitar, soft singing and autumn-hued loneliness we love about Into It. Over It., but these one-on-one conversations (or more often one-on-none) carry more weight. Mr. Weiss is far from talking to himself these days, and as a mouthpiece for those of us tripping through our twenties, he’s someone we need to hear.
Perhaps the headspin of growing up presents itself the clearest on loud and relatively brash “Spatial Exploration.” Weiss drops impossible-to-misunderstand lines like, “You know I pictured you determining success behind a diamond ring,” and, “I close my eyes and woke up to your morning routine / A boring and contemporary scene / So this is where you’ve been.” I realize out of context those lines seem like a person holding on to a youth that probably never existed. But more adequately it’s a person reacting to the possibility that their way is not meant for everyone. We all just want someone to travel with us, but the path is rarely the same. On surprisingly groovy “Upstate Blues,” Weiss sings, “It’s just the blessing of perception,” and that kind of proves/disproves everything he says throughout Intersections. It’s a blessing and a curse to see things the way we do.
But, for a moment, worldview aside, Intersections is a catchy, melody-filled treat of Midwestern emo pop. Weiss yearns but never yelps, even on lines like, “If misery loves company / Then what does that make me?” There’s a softness permeating the entire album, even when the band lets loose near the end of “Upstate Blues” or during the dissonance of opener “New North-Side Air.” Weiss never fails to find new ways to display his discontent, whether it’s the foreboding guitars on “No Amount of Sound” or the slightly ghastly gang vocals on “The Shaking of Leaves.”
While nothing said here will come as shocking, Weiss has continued his important mission of helping others by helping himself. We need to relate; to feel like our personalities don’t make us aliens. Into It. Over It. have become a group that show us that the innermost workings of one mind can represent so many. All different. All the same. It’s like Weiss says, “Some would say it’s wisdom / I would call it change.” Growing up doesn’t necessarily make us smarter, but it does make us different. We’d all do well to realize the distinction.