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Fast Times At Barrington High (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

For half a decade, the Academy Is... watched from the sidelines as Fall Out Boy became the Midwestern kings of emo. Fast Times at Barrington High makes a well-deserved grab for the crown, though, flaunting a combination of rock & roll bombast and pop-schooled songwriting. It's hard to tell how much credit belongs to frontman William Beckett, whose vocals and songwriting skills have nicely progressed since the band's debut, and which accolades go to Sam Hollander and Dave Katz, the production team otherwise known as S*A*M & Sluggo. Perhaps it's no coincidence that the album's first six songs, all written with the duo's help, are also the most radio-ready pop numbers here. "Summer Hair = Forever Young" is a fist-pumping declaration to youth and warm weather, while "His Girl Friday" — the highlight of side A — boasts the sort of muscled, sugary chorus found on albums by Motion City Soundtrack and Jimmy Eat World. The mood changes slightly during the album's latter half, where Beckett takes over the songwriting reigns and steers his band closer to the rock camp. "Beware! Cougar!" is a particular highlight, while "After the Last Midtown Show" pays tribute to Gabe Saporta's former band with piano flourishes and vocal harmonies. Fast Times at Barrington High doesn't go to the hoop with every song, but it scores more than enough points to make it a career highlight, not to mention one of the best emo-pop albums of 2008.

Customer Reviews

These are the best times

Forget Santi and Almost Here! (dont really cause theyre also amazing albums) Fast Times at Barrington High is the new upbeat youthful TAI. This is definitley a summer album riddled with the trial and tribulations of teenage life. download it all but listen to: About a Girl The Test Automatic Eyes Crowded Room Coppertone Paper Chase and One More Weekend and beware cougar just for laughs. Everyone graduating this year needs a copy of this album

Look at them now!

TAI started out as a little band with big dreams in Almost Here, but take a look at where they've come to. Fast Times is a fast ride, with catchy, happy-go-lucky, bouncy tunes. Bill Beckett's lyrics still live up to their predcessors in terms of punch and his poetic touch, but with a greater emphasis on growing up, and moving on. Great CD, and miles in front of where they were last year.

Fast Times is awesome!!

I was so happy to see that this album finally arrived in itunes!! (and although ive already bought this album, a real copy of it..) Every track on this album is amazing, and has a similar feel to Almost Here, but you can definitely tell they've matured and improved since then. My favourite tracks, although its very hard to choose, are About A Girl, Summer Hair = Forever Young, His Girl Friday, Automatic Eyes, After the Last Midtown Show, and Paper Chase. For anyone thinking about buying this album, BUY IT NOW!!! You will never regret it, i promise.


Formed: 2003 in Hoffman Estates, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Formerly in rival bands on the Chicago local scene, guitarist Mike Carden and vocalist William Beckett came together in 2003 to mark the beginning of emo-pop outfit the Academy Is... (originally named "the Academy"). Naming influences from U2 to Weezer to Pink Floyd, the duo added bassist Adam Siska (Beckett's classmate from high school), along with a second guitarist and drummer, to record 2004's The Academy EP for hometown label LLR Recordings. As luck would have it, fellow Chicagoan Pete Wentz...
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Top Albums and Songs by The Academy Is...

Fast Times At Barrington High (Bonus Track Version), The Academy Is...
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