When I found out that I would be given the opportunity to review Saves the Day’s latest release, “In Reverie,” I was both excited and hesitant. After being thoroughly disappointed by their last album, “Stay What You Are,” I was convinced that Saves the Day had forever changed from a pop-punk group to a depressingly super-emo foursome whose combined despair rivaled that of John Mayer. However, while “In Reverie” is doubtlessly an emo record, the band has managed to recapture some of the fun spirit of their early recordings.

“In Reverie” starts off with the smoothly melodic “Anywhere With You,” and keeps a relatively quick and energetic pace through the album, much more so than “Stay What You Are.” There are, of course, a few slower and gloomier songs, such as “Monkey” and “She.” The lyrics are equally depressing and very emo in style, such as “I feel the earth quaking below me / it feels like elephants / trampling my hollow chest,” from “Where Are You?” Lyrics like these pervade the entire album, and even the more peppy tracks cannot conceal the generally dark tone of the collection.

The bonus material, accessible to those who have purchased the actual disc, is also a testament to the melancholy nature of “In Reverie.” On the secret Web site where the extra stuff is housed, somber artwork – in the style of the cover art and drawings contained in the liner notes – can be found along with a few unreleased and acoustic tracks. The additional tracks are pretty good but nothing better than what is on the actual album, although the acoustic version of “Anywhere With You” is impressive.

Overall, “In Reverie” is a decent record, but still leaves me yearning for the exuberance of their older material. If you are a fan of emo and are looking for something with some musical substance – more than a loser crying into his acoustic guitar – then “In Reverie” may interest you. But if you want something a little less somber, I would suggest picking up “Through Being Cool.” For more information on Saves the Day, visit www.savestheday.com.

Rodano can be reached at mrodano@campustimes.org.

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