Mayday Parade’s emo roots are making a comeback with their seventh studio album “What It Means To Fall Apart.” All bands grow their sound over time, but the 12 songs on this album represent a unique ability to change their style while maintaining their position as a classic pop punk band.
The opening song, “Kids of Summer,” is hard to not connect to their 2009 “Kids in Love.” This sets the tone for where the album is taking listeners — back to their poster-covered bedrooms, convinced that the only people in the world who understand them are these lyricists.
There’s more than one “don’t give up” anthem here, very true to the spirit of Mayday Parade. “Golden Days” and “Notice” implore listeners to keep their faith and see brighter days ahead. “Notice” is especially nostalgic, with lyrics like “We’re all broken and we know it.”
In the same vein, “If My Ghosts Don’t Play, I Don’t Play” brings a similar message through a heavier sound, almost reminiscent of My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade.” The lyrics “You will never be alone / We will walk this world together / Just take my hand and we will march as one” are ones I can already picture crowds screaming back at the band.
Softer songs include “Bad At Love,” “Angels Die Too” and “Heaven.” These tracks will easily find their way onto emotional playlists the same way Mayday Parade’s classics have.
Even the cover of the album is a callback to their old work, showing the same silhouette carrying an umbrella that was seen in each of their first three albums covers. The image was retired with the 2013 “Monsters in the Closet” album, but it’s good to see it return.
One song that especially reminds me of their classics is “Think of You,” in both lyrics and sound. Like “If My Ghosts Don’t Play, I Don’t Play,” this song tells listeners they are not alone, and expresses a deep love for every moment spent together.
Some of the more upbeat tracks on the album include “You Not Me” and “Sideways,” both of which are juxtaposed with heart-breaking lyrics. Many songs can be read as breakup songs, but the beauty of the raw emotion is that listeners might connect it to anything they are going through.
The album ends on “I Can’t Do This Anymore” with a melancholy final note. Perhaps it culminates all of the heartache on the album leading up to it, accepting hardships for what they are. Despite its title, I don’t think the song relinquishes the previous messages of perseverance.
At first listen, this album was an exciting throwback to some of my favorite songs from Mayday Parade, but it also stands strongly alone. It is an ode to their growth as musicians, and can connect with fans both new and old.