Bop Battle; A Day To Remember: “What Separates Me From You” vs “Common Courtesy”

“What Separates Me From You”:

 “What Separates Me From You” was A Day To Remember’s 2010 release through Victory Records. When this album was released, the music scene exploded. It had only been a year since A Day To Remember put out one of their most well-received albums, “Homesick”, so their audience was expecting big things, and you guessed it, they didn’t disappoint. This album was quite different than “Homesick”, for the band changed their characteristic sound slightly to make for a more modern approach to their beloved sound. From here, it would be best to look at the album’s music in more detail. Throughout the entire album, it is heard that the band included tracks where many of them could stand alone as a single, and if they did, they would do just as well. How can this be? Let’s find out. The album includes selections that drive with mainly clean vocals, which is odd for the artist compared to the other releases they’ve had up to this point; however, this gives the band the opportunity to expand on their memorability and catchy nature. The band, throughout this album, began to includes differences of timbre through slight electronics and new string and instrumental techniques. This helps to further the band within the scene, for in these instances, they are beginning the evolution of different tone colors, which helps to give them a greater field to work with, musically and harmonically speaking. Other techniques that the band uses throughout include: strong attacks across the instrumental front, which helps to provide high amounts of contrast; also, the band began to use moments of silence sparingly to help break up the musical phrases. This helps the band to give the audience more moments to breathe throughout the more intense sections, which will provide a nice amount of musical relief for the audience. Overall, this is one of the largest releases from 2010 within the metal/hardcore scene of music, and it acted as a springboard for various artists to come, including A Day To Remember themselves. Thus, taking this all into consideration prompts me to give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. This album is going to be a tough one to beat because of its likable nature, for the majority of A Day To Remember’s hits come directly from this album.

Top Tracks: This Is the House That Doubt Built, 2nd Sucks, and All Signs Point to Lauderdale.

“Common Courtesy”:

 “Common Courtesy” was A Day To Remember’s 2013 album that they self-produced and released. Everyone was expecting big things from “Common Courtesy” because it had been a minute since A Day To Remember had released a full length album; also, since “What Separates Me From You” was so well received, they had some big shoes to fill. Spoiler alert: there was no disappointment here! When looking at the listing of this album, it is seen that the band wasn’t playing around, for the band gave their audience an album that was packed wall to wall with 16 tracks, which is something they hadn’t done since “For Those Who Have Heart”. With that being said, the band was able to give their audience a wide spectrum of music just based on the amount of it. However, quantity isn’t better than quality, so that number may come across as daunting or ambitious at first, for it may seem as if the band was trying to force more content into the scene. Let’s look into the music itself, shall we? When one looks at the selections provided on this album, it is clear from the very beginning that the band is moving back to the style that was seen on their “Homesick” album, but they also include moments that would link them to their previous release. The meshing of both of these approaches are well-received by the audience, for it gives them a hybrid of the techniques that are solid for A Day To Remember, and that produces something completely different for the fans to attach to. Throughout the album, the band keeps with their characteristic heavy attacks of musical phrases with ornate instrumental breakdowns that enhance the melodic line. Also, similar to the previous release, the band continues to toy with the addition of silence as a part of the musical phrase, which enhances the depth of each track. When looking at the caliber of each song, it is heard that each has their own identity that fits perfectly into the puzzle that is this album. To further, the band includes a variety of tracks, so some of the pieces fall closer to the alternative spectrum, some metal, and others ballads. This is strong for the album and the band because it gives their audience a high amount of contrast, which will keep them intrigued throughout the long album. Overall, I would give this album a 5 out of 5 stars. I was on the fence about giving this album such a score, but when you step back and look at the album, it’s the only score that makes sense. This album was one of the prime albums for the metal/alternative scene in 2013. Also, this release shook the scene, for A Day To Remember was taking the scene and elevating it by morphing their modern techniques with their older ones, which gave them more room to work with, musically speaking.

Top Tracks: The Document Speaks For Itself, Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail, Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way.

I know, it’s killing you: Who’s the winner?????

 Did you guess it? Is the anticipation killing you? Here it goes. The winner is the one, the only: “Common Courtesy”. I know after reading the scoring for each album, the winner was clear; however, there are some clear reasons as to why I decided that this album should reign over the two of them. The first reason I landed on this album is because through each song on this album, it is heard that A Day To Remember was taking techniques that many bands used separately, and from there, they morphed them into one spectacular combination that produced wild content. With this, they were album to mature a sound that was already so strong, and they were able to make it their own. The second major reason I chose this album to be the winner is because throughout this album there is a higher level of musical originality, which helps to make every song on the album equally amazing when you look at the album track by track. “What Separates Me From You” almost pulls this effect off, but it comes up short with a few songs that almost feel lack luster compared to their over the top works. Regardless, both of these albums are absolutely fantastic, and if you don’t know them, you definitely should!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s