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Saves the Day - Stay What You Are

First and foremost, the album title, 'Stay What You Are' is a misnomer. I'm not sure if it was tongue-in-cheek or just simply hypocritical, but Saves the Day did not follow their own advice in their transition from their previous release 'Through Being Cool,' to SWYA. To this day I cannot decide whether it was a change for the better. Gone are the driving drum beats and racing guitars the were not easily distinguishable between songs on TBC. Mostly Gone is the constant use of the second person songwriter Chris Conley used so effectively in songs like 'Rocks Tonic Juice Magic' and 'You Vandal.' (with the exception of the throwback to these STD classics 'As your ghost takes flight') Gone are the sing-along teenage anthems like 'Holly Hox.' And many would say since STD completely deserted any influence of these fan favorites in the production of SWYA, the album is devoid of what made STD so endearing. Even though this may be true, SWYA is not without its own appeal. Conley took a mature step forward in his already magnificent lyrics. I compare his lyrical style on this album to STD's masterpiece, the acoustic 'I'm Sorry, I'm Leaving' EP. Compare the moods of 'Hold,' and 'This is Not an Exit' to see this at work. The longtime STD fan will be sure to point out a weak spot on the album upon first listen. This is unavoidable after the drastic change this band experienced. But after getting used to the album, songs that may have previously been reacted to with a 'WTF is this?!?' like 'Freakish' or 'Cars and Calories' slowly blend in with the rest of the album as fitting pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. The final track, 'Firefly,' continues STD's tradition of rocking enders. (see 'Jodie,' 'Banned From The Back porch.') Overall, SWYA is an album that despite is change of genre's from emo-punk to pop rock, that is able to carry most longtime listeners along for the change while adding mainstream fans. Top Track - Nightengale