Released on March 26, 2002, Tell All Your Friends is Taking Back Sunday’s first full-length album and to me, it’s their best. What the album does so well is it combines the lyrics and hooks of pop-punk music with an edge. Also, the over-lapping vocals of lead singer Adam Lazzara and guitarist John Nolan gives an extra layer of lyrical power to their catchy songs.
Even though Tell All Your Friends is less than 34 minutes long, it packs a relentless onslaught of loud and emotional hits all the way through. All of the tracks on the album makes for an energetic live show full of mosh pits, crowd surfers, and sing-a-longs.
Which brings me to Taking Back Sunday’s live performances. While Adam and John don’t have the best voices, it’s good enough to pull off their style of music. But the memorable aspect of their live show is their excitement and movement. Adam is known for his ninja-like mic-swinging and the rest of the band move to the songs until sweat is pouring down their faces. It’s impossible not to enjoy their passion for playing live shows whether you know their songs or not.
But back to the album, I spent a large portion of high school with Tell All Your Friends. This was the era of AOL Instant Messenger, before Facebook Chat made AIM obsolete. Taking Back Sunday had enough one-liners in their songs for everyone on my buddy list to quote in their away messages.
Here’s a sample of popular lyrics that flooded AIM:
“I didn’t want it to mean that much to me.”
“Why can’t I feel anything from anyone other than you?”
“I never said I’d take this lying down.”
“Boys like you are a dime a dozen.”
As you can see, Taking Back Sunday’s lyrics mainly focused in on relationships gone sour, something high-schoolers can easily relate to. It’s no surprise how quickly Taking Back Sunday came into fame because their formula for success was bulletproof. With emo lyrics and edgy pop-punk, they attracted an audience of both boys and girls (which isn’t an easy thing to accomplish). I have many memories listening to this album and therefore Tell All Your Friends will always be one of my favorites.