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Taking Back Sunday’s Albums, Ranked: Where Does ‘Tidal Wave’ Crash In?

Taking Back Sunday has returned with new album ‘Tidal Wave,’ their seventh studio album and one of the strongest rock releases of the year. But how does it compare to the alternative collective’s other full-lengths, including their emo heyday? Check out our ranking of all of Taking Back Sunday’s studio albums, and tell us where you think we got it right (and wrong)!

7
7 / 7

New Again (2009)

There are moments worth revisiting on 2009’s New Again, but Taking Back Sunday’s fourth album is clearly a transitional outing, as the band moved on from Fred Mascherino and tried to build upon the commercial success of Louder Now. Eventually they’d forge a new path, but on New Again, Taking Back Sunday were still searching around.

6
6 / 7

Happiness Is (2014)

Even if the songs on Happiness Is don’t conjure as many lumps in your throat or result in as many head-bangs as the band’s previous efforts, their sixth LP keeps the good vibes from the self-titled album going. Happiness Is offers rewards to those who are patient, although the highs fall well short of the band’s mid-00’s heyday.

5
5 / 7

Taking Back Sunday (2011)

There’s a reason that the group’s fifth album is also its first self-titled release: Taking Back Sunday, which featured the return of John Nolan and Shaun Cooper, sounded like an acceptance of identity and intrinsic strengths. With that in mind, the band made a rollicking return to form, with songs like “This Is All Now” and “Faith [When I Let You Down]” approaching the energy level of Tell All Your Friends while containing a hard-won maturity.

4
4 / 7

Tidal Wave (2016)

Unexpectedly diverse and musically ambitious, Tidal Wave is perhaps the biggest pivot in Taking Back Sunday’s career—away from the scene that made them famous and toward a more wide-ranging brand of rock. Thankfully, Lazzara and co. are mostly successful with the changeup, and songs like “Holy Water,” “Fences” and the title track sound like nothing Taking Back Sunday has ever released but exalts the emotional songwriting the band has made its hallmark. Tidal Wave is not the sound of a washed-up group, but a group freshly baptized.

3
3 / 7

Tell All Your Friends (2002)

Adam Lazzara was only 20 years old when Taking Back Sunday made its debut, and the combination of raw angst and simmering hooks marked the group from the start. Consider Tell All Your Friends an effective origin story: There are growing pains and missteps, but the compelling first outing set the stage for the power within the refinement that followed.

2
2 / 7

Louder Now (2006)

Is there a more breakneck back-to-back pairing in Taking Back Sunday’s catalog than the one-two punch of “Liar (It Takes One to Know One)” and “MakeDamnSure”? Louder Now was a mainstream mission statement, with ferocious guitar work and choruses aimed squarely at arenas; there are also moments of true grace and contemplation (see: the quiet corners of “My Blue Heaven”), making this one both thrilling and complex.

1
1 / 7

Where You Want To Be (2004)

Yes, the addition of guitarist Fred Mascherino expanded the vocal interplay, and the rhythm guitar is much more polished on TBS’s second outing. Setting those factors aside, though, Where You Want To Be still smacks harder than anything in the band’s discography, thanks to a masterful sequencing, tighter hooks and most transcendent single (“A Decade Under The Influence”). For Taking Back Sunday newbies and diehards alike, Where You Want To Be remains (and may very well always be) the essential full-length.

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Sept. 23: ‘Archie’ IRL

In case you haven’t heard, the beloved ‘Archie’ comics are coming to life and you might recognize a few faces in Riverdale. Shannon Purser aka Barb from ‘Stranger Things’ landed the role of Ethel Muggs and when the news broke out we couldn’t wait to see her in action. In a behind-the-scenes photo shared on Twitter we get the first look of Ethel and Trev Smith. "This show is gonna be good, y’all” Purser tweeted.

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