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The Greatest Generation

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iTunes Review

The Greatest Generation, the fourth studio album by the Philadelphia pop-punk sextet The Wonder Years, is rife with the nostalgia of growing pains. Lead singer Soupy Campbell had described this recording as the third installment in a trilogy about growing up, but it’s also about the war that he won battling depression. The opening tune, “There, There,” starts softly with Campbell singing in a near-whisper over electric guitar distortion. When the song builds to a crescendo, the band balances restraint with sonic tantrums that at times recall Sunny Day Real Estate's emo-defining 1994 album Diary. The following single, “Passing Through a Screen Door,” exudes a more palpable catharsis as Campbell spits and sneers lyrics that reflect a quarter-life crisis having crept up on him while his friends and cousins got married and started families. The tension in his voice sounds as real as that of the winding guitar interplay between Matt Brasch and Casey Cavaliere. “Dismantling Summer” contrasts quiet and loud parts alongside lyrics that struggle with holding onto the summer while letting go of the past.

Customer Reviews

Tip my hat to you fine gentlemen

Didn't buy chipotle, bought this album instead. So goddamn good. Best album yet.

The Greatest Generation

Their Greatest Record

Emotionally charged and catchy. What else could one ask for?

I got into the whole pop-punk craze a little late, somewhere around early 2011, thanks to a local band that I wanted to start seeing. For Christmas 2011, I didn't know what to ask for, so I asked for The Wonder Years' third record, Suburbia I've Given You All and Now I'm Nothing. It became one of my favorite records of all time. After listening to their first and second albums several times as well, I decided that I didn't care much for The Wonder Years' older stuff, but was going to keep a close eye on them for future endeavors.
Then, The Greatest Generation was announced. Needless to say, I was excited. When the first single was finally released, I was impressed after just a few listens. Soupy's vocals were better than ever, the lyrics were still delightfully relatable, but there was one problem I had with it: the song was rather simplistic. This is pop-punk though, so that's hardly a problem. When the next two songs were released, I felt my excitement waning. Dismantling Summer is phenomenal, but the bridge bored me to tears when I first heard it. TB, TV, TW had incredible verses but a painfully tedious chorus, which really saddens me.
Overall, though, the album is truly a great one. There, There is one of the most powerful introductory tracks I've heard on not only a pop-punk release, but on any release. The closer, despite seeming rather cheesy, is somewhat "epic", if you will. There are a few flaws with the album, such as some boring repetition and some filler tracks/sections of tracks, but The Greatest Generation proves to be another enticing, emotional listen, and I'll be surprised if it does not leap onto my list of favorites with a few more listens during nighttime drives. As of yet, it's no Suburbia, and I don't feel it will be, but it blows anything else TWY have to offer out of the water and as of now, is the clear choice for pop-punk album of the year.


Formed: 2005 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Taking its name from the TV show The Wonder Years, the Philadelphia punk pop band was formed by guitarists Matt Brasch and Casey Cavaliere, vocalist Dan "Soupy" Campbell, bassist Josh Martin, drummer Mike Kennedy, and keyboardist Mikey Kelly. The sextet got its start in 2005 when previous combo the Premier split up. Regrouping under the new name, the band began playing shows and released two split singles that year (with Bangarang! and Emergency and I). In late 2007, the Wonder Years self-released...
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The Greatest Generation, The Wonder Years
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