Taking Back Sunday

Wednesday, September 29; Pop's

Too much emo hits like prom at a Christian high school -- pleasant enough, but dead below the waist. Even at its crunching, heartfelt best, the lack of that roll that used to hang with rock can leave it watery. Taking Back Sunday thickens it up. Not, unfortunately, by disdaining cliché or figuring out why bands have bass players but simply by doubling the emo. The band packs each song with fussy changes while two guys wheedle, yell and apologize at the same time, all the time. Sometimes the pair sings together, then against each other. Sometimes one screams somewhat unconvincingly, and then -- and here's why it's something you gotta hear -- both launch into the shiny shout-alongs that have longtime fans calling the group sellouts. Sometimes it exhausts. Sometimes it sounds like two lesser bands playing at once. Sometimes it gets so heady you forget there's nothing for your hips to do.

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