Over the past year, The Academy Is… has sold over 100k of their Fueled By Ramen debut, Almost Here, have toured with the likes of Fall Out Boy and Midtown, have headlined their own nationwide tour, and have been embraced by TRL and 15 year old girls everywhere. They have boarded the “buzz” train and are on their way to a major label deal, so to keep the buzz pulsating and to satisfy fans (old and new alike), they have released a 6 track EP titled From The Carpet, exclusive only to iTunes. Now while I strongly disagree with this “digital only” crap, The Academy Is… (vocalist Will Beckett, guitarists Mike Carden and Tom Conrad, bassist Adam Siska, and drummer Andy Mrotek) do not disappoint with this EP. With 2 new acoustic songs, one John Lennon cover, and 3 new versions of favorites from the debut, this EP is definitely a must-have for all TAI fans.
This EP begins horribly with the basement demo of “Pour Yourself A Drink.” It’s terribly produced, too short, not catchy, and just plain hard to get into. This definitely starts the EP off poorly, and I recommend you just skip this song completely. Hopefully, TAI will work on it some more, and perhaps it’ll sound better when produced correctly and includes the entire band. Thankfully, the acoustic version of the new track, “The Fever,” picks the EP back up. This is a fun and catchy song, which is what TAI is best at. Will Beckett’s voice sounds great on this also. The next song is the Nashville version of “The Phrase That Pays.” A slower rendition of the original, it features the banjo and goes for the Southern country feel. Overall, this track is good, but only after a few listens. Following that is the John Lennon cover of “Working Class Hero,” a moody song that takes a while to get into, but Beckett’s voice really captures the song and makes it worthwhile. The final tracks are the best ones, however, starting with the piano version of “Down And Out” featuring Sheldon Miller. This is easily my favorite track on the EP, especially since I’m a sucker for good piano tunes. The EP closes with one of my favorite tracks from Almost Here, “Black Mamba.” Here, we get the “3 In The Morning Party Mix” with features the maracas, which add some flavor to the track, and Beckett’s great voice again. The thing that make this track so much fun are the handclaps incorporated at the end, thus leaving you in the party mood.
Overall, The Academy Is… give their fans a little bit of fun with the release of this EP. The only thing that dampers the good time on this EP are the facts that this is an iTunes exclusive and the terrible first track. Other than that, this is definitely worth the $5.94 or whatever you’ll spend on iTunes for it. Fun and catchy, it has everything the casual TAI would want in a release. Definitely get a hold of From The Carpet, it’ll hold you over till the next Academy Is… album.