Album Review: Taking Back Sunday – Happiness Is

Taking Back Sunday have been one of my favourite bands for longer than I’d probably care to remember. They’ve been the soundtrack to many of my teenage angst issues and a hell of a lot of my happy memories.

Happiness Is is their sixth album and I’ve been listening to it pretty much non-stop for a week now wondering what words I could use to do it justice. I’d forgotten that reviewing a recorded piece of work is a lot different to a live show for example and this is my first for a while.

Please forgive the sentimentality.


*Sigh* Taking Back Sunday really can do no wrong, can they? In the 15 years since their conception can you think of a sub-par record that they’ve released? I certainly can’t and new album, Happiness Is certainly isn’t about to buck that trend.

I set out to be totally unbiased and impartial for the purposes of this review. I wanted to tell you all about the lyrical and musical development that the band have made since 2011’s Taking Back Sunday and how this second album since bringing back the classic line up of Lazzara, Nolan, Reyes, Cooper and O’Connell is a clear progression in sound and feeling.

However, the second that first little note hit my ears I crumbled. I was total putty in their hands and instantly transported back to the fangirl I’ve been since Tell All Your Friends first propelled them into my life 12 years ago.

OK, overall it may be a little mellower in pace than some of their previous efforts but that suits me just fine because I am too. Please don’t think that this is a negative because these songs are huge. Some of these tracks signal a bit of a change of direction lyrically too. Those cryptic messages and ideas have been cast aside in favour of the simple and to the point. It’s like getting a glimpse straight into Lazzara’s head and Like You Do is the perfect example of this.

Personally, I think this might be Taking Back Sunday’s most heartfelt and “real” (I hate that phrase) album in some time. For that alone it is definitely worth a listen. I’ve had it on pretty much constant rotation for a while and hear something else on each listen. Something that makes me remember why exactly I fell in love with this band in the first place and how I know they’ll be the soundtrack to my memories for years to come.

Happiness definitely is Taking Back Sunday being back in my ears.  (Sorry for the cheesy closing!)

Have you listened to this album? What do you think? Are you a Taking Back Sunday fan?



I was sent the album for review purposes but all thoughts and words are my own.

This review first appeared on Glasswerk.

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I'm Lojo, Laura or Mother Ruin depending on how you know me. I'm a 30-something, mum of one, from Liverpool living in London. I write about the things that interest me which usually involves food, travel, having fun and gin!

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