By: Jason Krug
A Day to Remember is “right back at it again” with their fifth full-length album Common Courtesy. While the album took much longer to be released than expected, the album is well worth the wait for all their loyal followers and even new fans. The album was finally self-released on October 8th and is currently available on their website. It will be available in stores and on iTunes on November 25th with three additional tracks.
This album has a little bit of everything, from pop-punk and the band’s signature pop-mosh to some hardcore and even acoustic songs. Common Courtesy seems to have a larger number of pop-punk songs like “City of Ocala” and “Right Back At It Again” that are ones to likely get stuck in your head. Their mix of pop-punk and hardcore, known as pop-mosh, comes through with ones like “Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail” and “The Document Speaks For Itself”.
What make this album so dynamic are the lighter, acoustic songs that What Separates Me from You did not have. The album does not have just one but three. With “I’m Already Gone”, Jeremy just pores all emotion into it. The other two, “I Surrender” and “End of Me” starts of light then builds in energy similar to “If It Means a Lot to You” off ADTR’s 2009 release Homesick. Having these types of songs makes the album feel like more of a true representation of the band and just how diverse they have become.
The album does not go out in some direction that they have never been to before. Each song builds off the strength that made A Day to Remember so popular in the first place, the lyrics. There are times when the lyrics sound poetic, such as at the end of “Sometimes you’re the Hammer”…
I want to be a better person/I want to know the master plan.
Cast your stones/cast your judgment/you don’t make me who I am.
These lyrics like these that everyone can relate to and understand. Yet there is something slightly different about this album than their previous ones.
The album seems to be an anthem of looking back on their career and seeing just how far they have come as well as sticking up to Victory Records, their record label. “The Document Speaks for Itself” is one obviously pointed towards Victory and telling them off. They end the album though with “I Remember”, a song reminiscing of their early days in the band when they were living in a van.
While it is crazy to imagine how a band mixing these two styles has been so successful, it’s songs like those that fans are not quite able to fully connect with. While this might affect how good the album is, it does not deny the album from being one that fans will greatly appreciate because they have stuck true to their sound. The amount of heart and energy though that Jeremy McKinnon puts into the vocals is unlike many of their previous songs.
This album might not be their best, but easily one that fans will love and be worth the long wait. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.