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A Twist In My Story (Bonus Track Version)

Secondhand Serenade

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iTunes Review

Where Secondhand Serenade's debut album Awake showed how much John Veseley could do with just acoustic guitars and otherworldly vocal gymnastics, his second album is more fleshed out with a full band and formal sounding orchestration — though his skyward soaring singing remains prominent. Veseley introduces A Twist In My Story with those gorgeously textured vocals breathing life into the hyper-sentimental "Like A Knife," but what comes off as more interesting is hearing how the stripped down "Your Call" and "Maybe" from Awake pan out here — redone, upgraded and fully arranged with ample help from renowned producers Danny Lohner of Nine Inch Nails fame and Butch Walker who has worked with the likes of All American Rejects, Avril Lavigne, Fall Out Boy, Lindsay Lohan, The Donnas and Hot Hot Heat (amongst many others). Fans of Dashboard Confessional and Five For Fighting will find a stirring familiarity in songs like the piano-heavy power ballad "Fall For You" and the haunting "Your Call", and the exclusive bonus track "Tested And True" hints at a young man finally finding an old soul within, and thus beginning to influence himself.

Customer Reviews

Don't Mean to Be A Killjoy Here....

....but didn't Something Corporate release this album in 2000 (making the band name 'Secondhand Serenade' hilariously ironic)? I know the pre-teens are suckers for McMahon/Carrabba influenced acoustic emo warriors, but it would be nice if these artists would do us all a solid and stop making the same album over and over again. For better or worse, Chris Carrabba's acousta-emo sound is one of the easiest sounds to imitate, and with a hope and a prayer, subsequently cash in on. One part simple open-chord arrangements and one part soaring, anthemic vocals equals a pretty decent paycheck in this MySpace-hype fueled industry. I know this likely won't be a popular opinion amongst those who were born during the Clinton administration...but give it a few years, look at Secondhand Serenade's work in retrospect, and I think you'll see my point. This album is certainly not terrible in terms of melody, songwriting, or general musicianship...but I'd really like to stop having to relive these albums every couple of months. The sooner young artists (and their respective fans) grasp the elusive concept of "innovation over imitation", the better off we all will be.

Did not disappoint.

When I first looked at the tracklist, the two songs I already knew were instantly going to be just as good. "Your Call", I thought was an improvement from the acoustic version from the album, "Awake". "Maybe", though I thought this version was great, I still prefer the acoustic, solo version from "Awake". The first new song that I instantly liked was "Stay Close, Don't Go". "A Twist in My Story", for some reason, took me a while for me to like. But now that song is probably my favorite of the album. "Stranger", "Pretend", "Goodbye", and "Why" are also other songs I recommend from the album. I'm still constantly listening to the album and trying to have the other songs I didn't mention grow on me. Nevertheless, what a great album. Tracklist: 1. Like a Knife - ** - i'm just not feeling this track at the moment. 2. Fall for You - *** - at the moment, i'm considering this song just an ok track. 3. Maybe - ***** - a full band version of the song i consider a classic, a Top 10 Most Played song in my library (148 plays of the Acoustic Version) 4. Stranger - *** - another ok track for me .. i won't skip the song unless i really wanna listen to something else. 5. Your Call - **** - to me i thought this was an improvement. 6. Suppose - ** - just not feeling the song. 7. A Twist in my Story - ***** - took me a while to like the song, but now i absolutely love this song. 8. Why - **** - a great song to just relax to. 9. Stay Close, Don't Go - ****** - the stand out song of the album i thought. 10. Pretend - **** - yet another song to relax to. 11. Goodbye - **** - a great closer. 12. Tested & True - *** - an ok song to me.

A bit different than Awake, but still highly recommended (4.5/5)

Unlike the acoustic emptiness of Awake, A Twist In My Story features a full band and symphony to back up Vessely. For example, the opening track “Like A Knife” features an electric guitar and symphony. After that is the excellent “Fall For You,” very much like Awake, with only guitar and piano for instruments. The song is just beautiful. The album has three remakes of Vessely’s own songs, “Maybe,” “Your Call,” and “Stay Close, Don’t Go.” This version of “Maybe” has drums and strings to go along, and is better than the original. “Stranger” is another great song, almost as good as “Fall For You.” A Twist In My Story’s version of “Your Call” is much better than the already-excellent original. Adding on strings and drums, it is just a great song. “Suppose” and “A Twist In My Story” showcase Secondhand Serenade’s greatness. The symphony adds a nice touch to the songs, so does the piano. Now, this album isn’t for everyone. Most All of the songs on this album are emo, and people who don’t like woe-is-me heartbreak songs will not like A Twist In My Story. “Why” is an example. With moody lyrics, a voice that brims with emotion, and Vessely singing about heartbreak will not appeal to everyone. But those who like to relax to some acoustic guitar, piano, and can stand some emo will love this album. The next and last remake of Secondhand Serenade’s own songs is “Stay Close, Don’t Go.” This song sounds different than the others; it sounds more like a full rock band playing than just one person. There’s drums, electric guitar, no bass though. This song is much better than the one on Awake; it sounds much richer and fuller. “Pretend” returns to it’s acoustic roots, and Vessely’s voice sound very good. This is another good song on this album. Ending A Twist In My Story is “Goodbye.” The final track is great as well; though it isn’t as good as it should. Overall, A Twist In My Story is excellent. Almost all of the songs are top-tier, the production is excellent, Vessely’s voice is crystal clear, and the instruments are awesome. What’s not to like? Well, it’s very emo. Also, people who are fans of screaming guitars, and hey-let’s-go-rock-out kind of music. This kind of rock is different. Fans of acoustic rock, strings, and emo will love this album. Fans of Dashboard Confessional, you’ll love this album. Must-have tracks: Fall For You, Maybe, Stranger, Your Call, Why, Stay Close Don’t Go Rating: 4.5/5 This album was this close to a perfect 5. The final track wasn’t as good as it could have been, but this album is much more accessible than Awake was. If this album doesn’t become a smash hit, then the world is crazy.

Biography

Formed: Menlo Park, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Much like Five for Fighting or Dashboard Confessional, Secondhand Serenade is the project name for a solo artist, singer/songwriter John Vesely. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area in a musical family that included his professional jazz musician father, Vesely spent a number of years playing bass in local bands before picking up the acoustic guitar and refocusing his attention on composing original material. Rather than releasing the new material under his name, Vesely chose to group them under...
Full Bio

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