Let me start out by saying that I love The Starting Line and have loved all their previous releases (even the little known about We The People Sessions that DTR keeps under lock and key for whenever they need an ‘unreleased’ track) – and no matter what I may say in the next few paragraphs, this is a great CD — if you are a pop-punk fan at all — you will love the new TSL CD, I promise.
The album starts out with a tribute to Blink-182’s “Anthem Part II” — wait, just kidding, it just reminds me of how Blink’s TOYPAJ started. With that behind us, we start out with one of the best tracks on the album, “Up and Go” — does just that, it picks up and takes the listener on a ride through the ups and downs of the song. Great opener track. The second track on the album is a really good song, with good guitar lines, killer drums … and all that; my only beef is the lyrics. I have always loved Ken’s writing, and thought it was the best part of this band, but for a debut full length I find it funny that there is a song saying thanks to the fans. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s awesome that they did it — but I mean, I could see Aerosmith doing something like that, not The Starting Line. Track 3 is the new “Leaving,” sounds good — if you liked the old one, you will like the new one. The next track is “Best Of Me” – it’s the best song on the album; hands down one of the best songs they have ever done.
My mind sort of zones out through the next song, “A Goodnight’s Sleep,” but Track 6 is a keeper. It is my favorite ‘re-recorded’ track on the album .. and has almost as much energy and passion as the first version.
”Cheek to Cheek” sucks. It ruins the otherwise perfect album. Mark Trombino should not have been allowed to do anything to this song – they should of just kept the old one on the album, and this would have been such a stronger middle track – I hate this version of the song, it gets skipped every time I listen to this album. The old one was full of so much more emotion, and passion.
”Hello Houston” is an awesome song, great lyrics, great pop-punk sound .. this is why I love this band! The song ends … only for the next track to be just as good.
I don’t think “Saddest Girl Story” should have been rerecorded, o well. I blank out through the next two tracks because they are all redone songs that I have already heard. The album ends with the second best track on the album, “This Ride.” Very good song.
Plain and simple — The Starting Line is pop-punk. They are cute, sing-a-longable songs with emotion. If it weren’t for Ken’s voice and lyrical skills — this band would fade into the background with little to help them stand out from the rest of the pack.
Overall — this is a great debut album. My problem was that I heard the old versions of these song’s first and I had a hard time adapting to the new sound. O, and all those complaining about how the TSL boys look need to shut the hell up – they don’t dress punk. I don’t think they were trying to be the punkest on the block. As I said, they are pop-punk, if that is your bag of goods, then you should buy this album at all costs – it’s something you will love. If you don’t like pop-punk, you’re an idiot for buying this and then complaining. You know what you like.