Emo kids, you can’t stay young and depressed forever. The Promise Ring abandoned their trademark formula for a more stripped down approach. So did the the Get Up Kids . Even the Anniversary moved on and became a ’70s cover band. It was only a matter of time before Saves the Day followed suit. After the success of Stay What You Are, everyone expected a strong follow up. What they got was In Reverie. Strong? Yes. Different? Definitely.
What made Saves the Day stand out, aside from their fairly young age, was their ability to blend pop and hardcore punk musicianship with incredibly catchy and sometimes morbid lyrics. In Reverie, the band’s major label debut, finds the group expanding their sound significantly beyond their emo roots. Where emo is often formulaic and all too literal, Saves the Day’s new style is much more diverse and definitely harder to decipher. It’s pure pop now, making the melodies a bit more unpredictable than in their punk days. No longer is lead singer Chris Conley, now a mature 23, threatening the life of some guy named Nick and singing about rocking out to Queen in a friend’s car. Those days, it seems, are over.
That’s not to say that In Reverie isn’t a good album. The hooks are solid, catchy and still worthy of the road trip sing-along. “Anywhere with You,” “Morning in the Moonlight” and “Tomorrow Too Late” all contain glimmers of the band’s former self. It just feels like In Reverie is missing the spark that made Saves the Day who they are, or who they were. Perhaps it’s Conley’s new relaxed singing style, forced from too much touring. Perhaps they’ve been listening to the White Album too much. Or maybe they’re just finally growing up.
Rating: 3 stars