Friday, March 19, 2010

First Listen: The Academy Is... - "Lost in Pacific Time EP"

Track One: I'm Yours Tonight
The first thing I said to Lanie when we started this listen was that if this EP sucked, I was going to be super pissed that I paid the $5 to download it. I was pleasantly surprised by at least this song, and decided that I could definitely say at least this track was better than anything on Fast Times at Barrington High, which I liked, especially in comparison to Santi, which I loathed. This song gave me total warm fuzzies inside, because it's so power-ballad-y and William Beckett is kind of made for power ballads from the top of his head to his Steven Tyler mouth to his toes. - Julieann

Like I said to Julieann, it's like they cracked the power ballad code and now TAI finally know what they're doing, after their past stumbles lead them astray. They're a band really built to do a power ballad and they seemed to be denying themselves. Sure, it's a retro thing to do, but if you can do it awesomely, why the hell not?! - Lanie

Track Two: Days Like Masquerades
This track's a little bit of a backslide from the first one. It's not as good, but it's still better than anything on Santi, and with TAI that's pretty much a win. I kind of hope they play it when we see them live November 1, because I feel like I could really dance around like an asshole to this one and it would be better that way. - Julieann

Eh! - Lanie

Track Three: Sputter
THIS IS THE ONE WITH ANDREW MCMAHON. And you can tell, because it sounds like a Jack's Mannequin song even though you can't really hear McMahon's backing vocals hardly at all. I like the echo-y quality they have when you can hear them, though. This track basically sounds like McMahon did everything on it but sing lead vocal. McMahon's inclusion, though, means this song has a totally unfair advantage in me liking it. Cheating, Beckett, cheating. - Julieann

McMahon's fingerprints are all over this song, in the phrasing, in the melody. It's like they're doing a cover of a Jack's Mannequin song. Which is fine but it's not what I thought we were here for! - Lanie

Track Four: New York (Saint In The City)
This song is boring and sounds like it was something that got cut from Fast Times at Barrington High. And, like much of Fast Times, it doesn't make me want to dance, and it doesn't excite me. It's just there. Definitely the low point of this EP. - Julieann

See review for Days Like Masquerades. - Lanie

Track Five: In The Rearview
When I see the title of this song, I start singing Midwest Kings's "Rearview," which is dumb, because they're exactly nothing alike other than referencing rearview mirrors. Whateverrr. This song pretty much rocks as hard as I think the Academy Is... are able to rock. It's a lot more guitar heavy than their stuff usually is, and I spent most of the track imagining scarves tied around mic stands while Beckett stomped around on stage. - Julieann

I was less stoked on this song than Julieann was, but I didn't hate it. - Lanie

Basically, it's a decent little EP. Track four is kind of a throwaway, and track two isn't far behind. Tracks three and five are decent, and track one's a solid little tune. At least two of these songs are probably going to go into heavy rotation on my iPod ("Sputter" and "I'm Yours Tonight," and maybe "In The Rearview"). Good job, TAI. It's not Santi. - Julieann

Months later, I have not asked Julieann to send me this EP. Our computers are about 10 feet apart. Just saying. If you're a die-hard TAI fan, go for it, get it. Likewise if you are in love with Andrew McMahon, you won't be disappointed. It's a few more tracks to add to the list, but I find it hard to care too deeply about any of them. -Lanie

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