Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Dinosaur Life Review

A little over two years since their last release, the Minneapolis pop-punk powerhouse group, Motion City Soundtrack, returns with a bang. Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 has returned to the producer seat, having also previously worked with the group on their sophomore album, Commit This To Memory. Onto their newest creation, entitled My Dinosaur Life. What does that mean? I have no idea, but it sounds pretty rad. Nevertheless, ladies and gentlemen, I give you My Dinosaur Life.

The moment the drums and guitar really kick in on the first track, Worker Bee, you know this is a new band. They've strayed from the synth-pop sound of their previous albums into a more stripped down sound, emphasizing the instruments and Justin Pierre's voice over the Moog. His deeper, more focused vocals add an almost mature sound to the album; however cheesy some of the lyrics may be. A perfect example of said vocals come in on the second track, A Lifeless Ordinary (Need A Little Help). He switches between a low, almost melancholy tone to a higher, more emotionally driven sound seamlessly.

The third track of the album, Her Words Destroyed My Planet, chronicles Justin Pierre's progression through a negative relationship to come out of it better than before. I think song is the essential song that portrays Motion City's progression as a band. This of course doesn't suggest that they've completely abandoned all the things that they've been loved for since their debut album, I Am The Movie. For example, the eighth track of the record, Pulp Fiction, has more keyboards then every other track put together, along with lyrics that I couldn't interpret if I studied them for hours. In essence, the Moog synthesizer is still there, just cleverly hidden.

"Sold my XBOX to Jimmy down the street/ I even quit smoking weed."

If you think you can get by with listening to this album a single time, you're terribly wrong. Nearly every song has catchy elements to it. Whether it is the chorus, the bridge, or just the rhythm, you'll be humming along through 12 tracks of fun music. A fine example of this would be @!#?@!, however you may pronounce that. Even with its silly (And explicit) lyrics, you're still compelled to sing along.

"You all need to leave me and my sensitive homeboys' alone."

My standout favorite would definitely be Stand Too Close. This is obviously a very personal song for Justin. He simply pours himself into the lyrics and his vocals portray just as much emotion. He continues this style in the song Skin and Bones, where he simply questions the meaning behind everything. "What if there's nothing more to me?/I'm just skin and bones, there's no mystery." Everyone has asked that at one point or another, making this song very relatable.

The pace of the record never seems to ease up, always keeping your attention. Just how it started, the album concludes strongly. The Weakends begins with a slow melody and transitions into crashing drums and guitar, and then slows back down as Justin begins singing. This is a fantastic end to the album; another strong, emotional track that Motion City seems to enjoy slipping in every now and then. My Dinosaur Life has your essential Motion City needs, catchy tunes, nerdy but meaningful lyrics, and of course Justin's impressive vocal box. This is an album definitely worth your $10, as well as their previous albums. Motion City Soundtrack never fails to deliver.

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