Review this album
Jun 15, 2013Pop Punk notoriously tends to be a very immature genre. It's full of bands in their twenties, sometimes thirties, singing about teen heartbreak with fast drums and simple chords to go along with it. That's why, normally, there isn't a pop punk band that can actually make outsiders appreciate what the genre is or what it could be. If the genre stagnates, the only reason people will listen is for nostalgia and that's only if those people listened to those bands in their teen years. Outside listeners tend to disregard the genre, rightly so.
The Wonder Years is a band that defies pop punk. They're not comfortable with sitting in the same place. They don't sing about teen heartbreak. They've always tackled somewhat more important subjects to the same fast blistering generic sound. The Greatest Generation is an album for people in their twenties. That's something that can't be said for nearly every pop punk album ever released. While The Upsides tackled anxiety and depression the young generation experiences, Suburbia tackled dealing with your place in the world, The Greatest Generation tackles reaching the point of acceptance. Life isn't spelled out for you and you have to move along. It's about hoping that life can get better rather than marinating in your own problems and depression. While the sound isn't necessarily anything new, it's the best the genre has to offer. The singer Dan "Soupy" Campbell has always been the best part of the band, showing flashes of brilliance as a writer the past few years. Here, he drops some of the most quote-able and unique lines pop punk has ever produced. There is no equal lyricist in the genre. He's firmly ahead by a wide margin.
While at first the album might seem like the same old by first time listeners, staying with the album and listening to the lyrics will undoubtedly earn your respect. The Wonder Years doesn't make a perfect album, but the reason it gets a ten from me is because it takes a genre that couldn't be more immature and makes it accessibly mature. It's groundbreaking in the sense of pop punk itself. It pushes it to its limits and surpasses those limits.
One of the best things that can be said is that this album might inspire future generations and change the genre for the better. Pop Punk might never be the same again. It might even become respectable. When people in the future look at pop punk and wonder when it all changed, they'll find the The Greatest Generation. A well crafted mature record that defied its own genre.… Expand
Jul 12, 2013I also had high hopes due to the metascore, but, then, when I listened to it, I realized I had been duped. Song after song after song of a similar guitar hook, followed by a chorus with high-pitched yell singing and several instruments jamming together. There is one reprieve acoustic song in Madelyn (thank goodness). The last two encore songs have a familiar guitar hook, followed by a chorus with high-pitched yell-singing and several instruments jamming together. I dare anyone to randomely skip from song to song and try and quickly identify any particular title. qrobur had it spot on...this is a standard identikit pop-pump album and worse than brittany spears. Those giving it a "10"? It must be right there with London Calling and Led Zeppelin IV.… Expand
Jun 5, 2013Having seen the Metacritic score and being an enthusiast for punky noise, I had reasonably high hopes for 'The Greatest Generation'. Alas, it proved to be no more than your standard, identikit pop-punk A hundred other groups can and do make the same noise and more or less write the same songs. It's competently played, it's quite well produced, nothing offends the ear and I'm quite sure my mother wouldn't mind listening to it. Well, she'd be welcome to it; this tedious album won't be getting any more of my time.… Expand
Aug 16, 2013I thoroughly enjoyed this album. Being from Philadelphia, I could identify with a lot of the references made by the Wonder Years. I admit that at times I have a little bit of "musical ADD", as some albums only keep me entertained for about 4 or 5 songs. This album is one of the few that I can listen to from beginning to end. That's not to say that the whole album is absolutely amazing, as it is very categorically pop-punk. But I enjoyed this album.… Expand
Jul 23, 2013I've never had a band hit home quite as much as this band has. So many feels. I just put my ear buds in and listen to this album and just have the greatest sense of nostalgia. I was already a casual fan, but this album won me over to be a huge fan. This is just a masterpiece.
Jul 11, 2013The Wonder Years repeatedly resets the bar for pop-punk with each new album release. But there's one thing that's certain after listening to this band's trilogy of music- The Wonder Years are not your average pop-punk band. When the hype for a newly announced Wonder Years album begins to surface, people always have the question, "How can these guys possibly top their previous release?" The Wonder Years proved that they have the ability to do that with the release of Suburbia, and they quite possibly have proven it again with 'The Greatest Generation'. My personal favorites include There, There, Dismantling Summer, The Devil In My Bloodstream, and Cul-de-sac, but this album deserves to be listened to as a whole piece of art. My recommendation: Listen to this album, even if you're not a fan of the genre.… Expand
Oct 29, 2013Being a fan of pop-punk myself, when I was first introduced to The Wonder Years' overzealous "Get Stoked On It!" I was a little bit doubtful that this band was serious. The immature lyrics and melodies made me believe that I was listening to some high school teens mess about with some musical instruments. That's not to say I didn't personally enjoy the album.
The Wonder Years have come a long, long way since then. According to lead vocalist Dan Campbell, The Upsides, Suburbia and The Greatest Generation all tell a tale of a bittersweet life story. The Upsides is all about life before and after college, Suburbia is about the tragic tales of Suburban life and The Greatest Generation is about, well, life itself.
The Greatest Generation is not as hard hitting as Suburbia or The Upsides, and because the band have been pumping out their almost 'emo' style for two previous albums, it is surely expected that The Wonder Years will eventually just be running on empty. Nothing will be different. That can be said for The Greatest Generation, in the sense that all the songs are similar in some way.
However, The Upsides had the same kind of problem.
The only other negative aspect I feel I should point out is if you're looking for memorable, chart-worthy songs, this album is not for you. None of the songs are particularly memorable certainly not when compared to the songs of other pop-punk bands such as All Time Low. "Passing Through A Screen Door" might be recognizable, but it's not radio-standard.
The reason I scored this album an 8 is because it is hard hitting, and is available to give you a huge dose of reality right when you need it. It has the power to whittle you down to a sobbing mess if you feel you can 'relate' and that's what I respect about The Wonder Years because The Greatest Generation is a finely crafted album, and it's clear a lot of time and hard work has been put into this.
The only issue I have is that The Wonder Years are reaching the end of the line for fresh emo-punk content that they've been putting out since 2010 on the other hand if vocalist Dan Campbell's words are to be believed: "The Greatest Generation is an ending to a trilogy," and I must say, "I Just Want To Sell Out My Funeral" is a damn brilliant ending to it.
What is next for The Wonder Years' musical ventures? Who knows. But The Greatest Generation is a fantastic ending to their previous album ethoi.… Expand