Motion City Soundtrack has been my musical standby for pretty much anything. If I’m in a depressed mood, they have a song for that (“Hold Me Down”). If I’m angry, they got a song for that (“Disappear”). And whenever I feel like just singing at the top of my lungs (“L.G. Fuad”), well I think you can get it from there. MCS’s music reaches a variety of different people; able enough to hit themes of breakups, video games, and paranoia. Each of their first four albums have been amazingly consistent, keeping me interested and entertained throughout their impressive discography. Even their side projects (most notably Farewell Continental) have grown to entertain me while I wait patiently for whatever their next album would be.
Which leads me to their newest album, entitled Go. Now, with that title, I imagined that the album would be at a faster pace – maybe with some added kick to their step. And then their first single “True Romance” came out, I was a little underwhelmed.
But alas, I cannot judge an entire album just off of one song. And I’m glad I didn’t. Safe to say, Go goes more places than I actually thought it would, making for another enjoyable MCS release.
The albums starts with “Circuits and Wires,” an electrically lyrical intro that matches the greatness of all of the other MCS openers before it. “Timelines” incorporates a new-age sort of pacing with some great low-end synth work, creating a rather positive, introspective mood throughout. That leads into the downer “Everyone Will Die,” a soft ballad that’s filled with some beautiful string work and dark-yet-soothing lyrics (“Everyone must die/Everyone must lose/So who are you going to love in the meantime/Before it catches you”). The closer “Floating Down the River” is one of the only driving songs on Go, making a nice memorable ending to one of the most musically solid albums to date.
The musicality of Motion City Soundtrack has always been their strong-suit. Pierre’s vocals are always entertaining to listen to, although he doesn’t hit his higher octaves on Go nearly as much as he does on his previous material. Just like on their last album, drummer Tony Thaxton did an excellent job. Each of his fills created the perfect mood and setting for each of the songs, making them extra enjoyable (“Timelines” especially). The band as a whole mold with each other fluidly, making no one song sound the same from any of their previous material. That in itself is something incredibly impressive, especially since this is their fifth full length.
The greatest difference between this album and their critically acclaimed My Dinosaur Life that they put out two years ago is the overall energy. While My Dinosaur Life was at a faster pace, and had rather hilarious lyrics, Go slows things down and makes you think about what vocalist Justin Pierre is singing about. Each song holds a different feeling, soundtracking someone’s negative day, or an entire life. Go doesn’t have to be blistering to be memorable. Instead, it toned down the metronome, brought our more instrumentation and lyrics, and made another memorable album.
Motion City Soundtrack is five albums in now, each one not reinventing the previous’ sound, but enhancing it. Each song is oddly original, incredibly catchy, and instantly memorable. Justin Pierre and Co. have yet to disappoint; each release is a refreshing take on alternative pop music that refuses to become boring. Go might not be as fast as some of their previous releases, but it’s just as good. There really is nothing else left to say here besides go buy it and listen for yourself.
Final Grade: A-
Go Download: “Timelines”