Monday, July 28, 2008

Smoking Popes-Stay Down


I first got into the Smoking Popes into the 11th grade, and to be honest, I really didn't think much of their post-Get Fired material. It was much more ballad-y, with less of the hyper-charged pop-punk that made Get Fired a really enjoyable record for me. But times change and so do tastes, and eventually, I found myself really attracted to the intimate songwriting and beautiful tastefulness about their whole aesthetic. When I heard that the Popes were going to release a new album, I sort of wrote it off, and completely forgot about it until I read a glowing review for the new record, entitled Stay Down. Moving further away from pop-punk than ever, and embracing a change of sound very similar to what Duvall was doing while the Popes were on break, Stay Down is extremely close to being a power-pop masterpiece. "If You Don't Care" and "Into the Summer Sky" are both strong anthems not dissimilar to something you would find on the Blue Album, and those are only two of the strongest cuts from this album full of gems. Occasionally, some songs like "Welcome to Janesville" do run a little tedious for their running time, but all of the songs are, at a minimum, good. Definitely one of the biggest shock releases of the year for me so far.

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