Taking Back Sunday – ‘Twenty’

By Renette van der Merwe

It’s been two decades under the influence for Long Island’s Taking Back Sunday and, as they tour the globe in celebration of their twentieth year as a band, we take a look at their special anniversary compilation, ‘Twenty’.

The album, packaged beautifully, essentially serves as a highlight reel for the band’s career, taking the listener on a journey as it reflects not only the biggest and best of TBS, but also on their evolution since their origin back in ‘99. As a band who, along with the likes of My Chemical Romance and The Used, pioneered an entirely new strain of punk rock, it’s also a bit of a reminder that they played a vital role in shaping the music scene back then, which inevitably impacted everything since in one way or another.

At its very core, however, ‘Twenty’ is the ultimate playlist for fans. Arranged in chronological order and starting with absolute screamer ‘Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team)’ it also includes ‘You’re So Last Summer’ and ‘Timberwolves At New Jersey’, all taken from their debut ‘Tell All Your Friends’.

From there each album is represented with a handful of songs. ‘Set Phasers To Stun’ from their sophomore ‘Where You Want to Be’, ‘MakeDamnSure’ – who could ever forget that music video – from ‘Louder Now’, and ‘Sink Into Me’ taken from ‘New Again’. It also features ‘Call Me In The Morning’ from their fifth, self-titled studio album, ‘Flicker, Fade’ from ‘Happiness Is’, and ‘Tidal Wave’ from their seventh and most recent record of the same name.

While ‘Twenty’ is mostly a retrospective of Taking Back Sunday’s career, the final two songs are brand new and offer a tiny glimpse at what could be expected from the band’s future records. The first, ‘All Ready To Go’, cleverly combines their newer sound with a pinch of that old punk beat to create something fresh and spine-tinglingly good, while ‘A Song For Dan’ is a touching ballad that showcases Adam Lazarra’s vocals beautifully and closes out the album really well.

For the most part, it’s not new, but it is magic. Forget nostalgia; it’s a perfectly curated collection of spellbinding songs that have truly stood the test of time. Some songs are only just over two years old, while others are heading for twenty, but they’re all just as special now as the day they first filled the airwaves.

So wherever you are right now, raise a glass to Taking Back Sunday – a band who has over the years soothed souls, mended hearts and opened minds with infectious tracks – here’s to twenty.

RENETTE VAN DER MERWE

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