This is one of those albums. It came out the same time that I started driving, and this CD (alternating with So Long Astoria) was stuck in the CD player in my mom’s Chrysler Town and Country minivan. It was a rainy month, so the smell of damp constantly filled the car…
And it holds up. From the opening riffage of “Bring it Low” to the blissful balladry of “Jewel to Sparkle” to the epic rock sprawl of “Everything,” TJT didn’t waste a single second of tape on this record. Every track is a gold mine.
The reason it’s most effective is most likely because, despite being the standard bearers of the emocore, Bret, Chad, and the Joshes* frequently reached outside of its (somewhat narrow) palette. This record frequently dips into Floydish prog (”In Coversation” and “The Hardest Things”), emotive classic rock (”Shell of a Man”), U2 arena rock (”Trance,” ”Do You Believe Me?” and frequent electronic textures (the remake of ”Into the Dark,” “DTM”).
All of this makes an album that sounds way more timeless and relevant than a record a couple months from its fifteenth anniversary.
*on this album, THREE of the five members were named Josh