The album kicks off with the energetic “I Hope Not,” which displays the very familiar scenario of waiting to tell someone how you feel. However, Count to Four takes a fresh approach. Rather than a slow, romantic ballad, they’ve created an up-tempo declaration, which is the perfect way to begin an album.
“Lavender Town” is just as blunt as its predecessor, pleading for a person to stay, with vocalist Mike Hayden going as far as admitting, “I’m a dick, and I gave you hell.” In contrast, “Plastic Dinosaurs” is reflective, with a catchy beat, questioning if our background plays into who we are. Don’t be fooled by the odd title, this song is ear-catching, especially with the amazing guitar-solo, which I cannot resist (I completely admit that I am a sucker for a good solo). If any track wins you over on Between Two Cities, this will probably be the one that does it.
“You Got Your Woody Allen In My Gerard Butler” is dominated by the bass guitar (courtesy of Neale DiMento), and the fade out of the electric guitar carries into the next track (“Get To It”), which surprisingly makes me like the album even more. The two songs feel like they have been combined for that reason, which is brilliant, because my typical complaint is that the songs I like never seem long enough. Lyrically, I find myself a bit entranced, wanting to sing along; musically, I just want to keep bobbing my head, which is always a good sign. “Get To It” also features an end verse focusing on Hayden’s vocals, accompanied by a chorus of “Ohh”s in the background, which make the track, and encourage me to just keep pressing repeat.
As the album progresses, I notice that the lyrics become deeper (from feelings for someone to feeling like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders), and it’s like listening to the development of the band and all their growth in one album. “Tear It Apart” predominantly showcases the talents of Pete Adams and Jay Miller beautifully, and it carries the most emotional weight, in my opinion. More than that, it sounds like it’s going to be brilliant live, because I had a mini-concert in my head just listening to it.
I’ll own up to the fact that “Good Days Pt. II” has been played on repeat on my iPod throughout the week, but all I’ll say is to listen to it—I promise, it all becomes very clear with one listen.
The final tracks, “My M.O.,” “Growing Up and Growing Beards,” and “Bottles and Books,” finish Between Two Cities off with as much strength as it began with. Overall, I find the album to be enjoyable, catchy, and a well-made addition to pop-punk’s ever-growing discography.
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