Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Album Review: The Academy Is... - Fast Times at Barrington High

"Fast Times at Barrington High" is the third album released by the Chicago-based band The Academy Is..., just a little over a year after their sophomore record "Santi." Like "Santi" it is being released by record label Fueled by Ramen. The name of the album comes from the 1982 film "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" with Barrington High being the high school lead singer William Beckett and bass player Adam Siska attended.

The album begins with the first single "About a Girl," probably the most catchy song on the record. The chorus is extremely well-written and catchy. After one listen it was stuck in my head for days.

The overall production of this album is spectacular. Produced and co-written by Sam Hollander and Dave Katz (who also worked together on Gym Class Heroes, Boys Like Girls, Coheed and Cambria and many other projects) it is chalk-full of lush guitars, heavy drums, and cleverly mixed vocals.

The entire album is solid. Unlike many of the recent albums I've reviewed, it is very difficult to find songs that are boring or don't have their own distinctive quality. While some of the verses are slow and uninteresting ("After The Last Midtown Show" and "Beware! Cougar!") each redeem themselves with a great chorus.

The best comparison I can pull out on this one is the music leans more to the feel of Cartel. William Beckett's voice is very similar to Ryan Miller of Guster with more angst.

I found this album extremely enjoyable and it will definitely be staying in my iPod.

1 comment:

Music Guru said...

I just responed on my blog about your new release question.. but I wasn't sure if you would know I repsonded... so I thought I would drop you a note here... this is what I said... "The best site I have found is Billboard.com's new release section, as they have the most extensive listing I have found. I try to confirm as much as I can on label/band sites but, as I have said before, trying to get info from a myspace page is next to impossible, and sometimes releases are pushed back the day of, so some dates keep changing from week to week, but Billboard is pretty accurate. Indie labels are horrible at listing release dates, so I stick with the big guns for that info." - Does it reduce my "cool factor" that I am not all Shaman-esque in regards to how I get my info? ;)