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In Reverie

Saves the Day

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Album Review

Saves the Day's fourth album, In Reverie, is the band's poppiest and most upbeat and musical record yet. They have mostly ditched the punk in their previously punk-pop sound and gone straight for the pop jugular. In fact, the one or two moments when they attempt to rock out, like the chorus of album opener "Anywhere With You" or on the plodding "Where Are You," they sound generic and false. Most of the songs are like "What Went Wrong" and "In Reverie": pure pop from the vocal harmonies to the cheesy synths to the sticky sweet melodies. At their best, on tracks like "Morning in the Moonlight" and the chord-y power ballad "Tomorrow Too Late," Saves the Day manages to combine the aggressive approach of punk with pretty pop melodies and perky arrangements in a style not too far from the mighty Sloan. They are not quite to that level; not all the songs are top-notch, Chris Conley's weedy vocals are an acquired taste, and the lyrics are on the dense side (and are occasionally dark to the point of distraction, like on the scary "Monkey"). But it's a bit like Peter Pan — if you can suspend your disbelief long enough, Saves the Day can fly. Not very high but just enough. At least high enough to separate them from the pack of identikit punk-poppers clogging the bins in the early 2000s. They should be commended for making a record this pop, this melodic, and this non-punk, especially when being punk is such the thing to be.

Biography

Formed: 1994 in Princeton, NJ

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Perfecting their power pop rock since the mid-'90s, New Jersey's Saves the Day call it like it is. They refrain from characteristic pogo-bouncing anthems for their own quirky post-punk and energetic live shows, influencing a new school of emo/punk bands along the way. The first incarnation of Saves the Day happened when singer/songwriter Chris Conley was only 13, and the band was first called Indifference and, later, Seffler. A name change to their current moniker, taken from a lyric from the Farside...
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