Make A Move, Gavin DeGraw

Gavin DeGraw’s second studio album under RCA Records, Make A Move, and fifth studio album as a recording artist is everything we’ve come to expect from this soulful singer-songwriter. Whoever said playing it safe was a bad thing has clearly never listened to any of DeGraw’s songs.

The album is 11 tracks, or 40 minutes, of raw, classic pop-rock music. Each song is a bit different from the one before it, but all of them come together into a perfect album to listen on any day of the week.

Simple and beautiful, DeGraw starts out the album with his latest single, “Best I Ever Had,” and just one-ups himself on every track from there on out. He doesn’t try to be someone he’s not and has stuck to his roots since his first single, “I Don’t Want To Be,” which became a hit when it was chosen as the theme song for The WB’s One Tree Hill in 2003. DeGraw puts his emotions into everything he sings and it is easy to tell on any one of his new tracks, especially his song “I’m Gonna Try,” a mid-tempo record about giving it your all and “celebrating who you’re with.”

Simply put, Gavin DeGraw’s new album is perfect for any John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Train or Jack Johnson fans. Or any fans of music in general. Check out Make A Move and proceed to hit “replay” to prolong the happiness the album gives you.

Songs You Must Check Out: “Finest Hour,” “I’m Gonna Try,” “Who’s Gonna Save Us,” “Heartbreak,” “Every Little Bit”

Common Courtesy, A Day to Remember

A Day to Remember has come a long way since the release of their first album And Their Name was Treason back in 2005. The band has undergone a few lineup changes, most notably the loss of former lead guitarist Tom Denney in 2009 right after the release of Homesick. 

Common Courtsey, the band’s fifth studio album was released exclusively on their website on Oct. 8 is a departure from past releases. Over the years it’s easy to note that the sound of the band has transformed from melodic-hardcore filled with heavy breakdowns and screams to almost a pop-punk sound following the mainstream success of the band.

Their latest release further solidifies the changes in sound, and lyrical content as well. One of their earliest hits, “You Should’ve Killed Me When You Had the Chance” off of And Their Name Was Treason was one of the angriest songs I had ever heard. As Jeremy screamed “

I walked into your house this morning/I brought the gun from our end table/Your blood was strewn across the walls/They’ll find you on your bathroom floor when I’m done,” one actually got the impression the band’s frontman had committed a murder. And who could forget the lines from “Speak of the Devil”: Such a pretty picture/Your chalk line on the ground/I hope you die.

CC lacks the anger, it’s almost as if Jeremy McKinnon has screamed all his hatred out. The album also isn’t subtle about taking a shot at their former label Victory Records, especially on the track “The Document Speaks for Itself.” The band has been litigating a lawsuit between the label, claiming their contractual obligations had been fulfilled, which is why as of now CC is only a digital release through their website. As of last week a physical release was announced for Nov. 25, 2013.

To be honest, the new record is a little too whiney, and not as intense as past releases. I find it hard to believe any die-hard ADTR fans will really appreciate this new album. But listen for yourself.

Acceptance Speech, Dance Gavin Dance

Dance Gavin Dance has had an interesting evolution since their debut release Whatever I Say is Royal Ocean back in 2005. Due largely in part to lead singer Jonny Craig continuously leaving and rejoining the band. Seriously, this has happened several times since their formation and has caused an interesting change in sound.

After Downtown Battle Mountain II was released back in 2011, Craig left the band again. The latest release since Craig’s last departure Acceptance Speech, released Oct. 8,  is definitely a change. New vocalist Tillian Pearson makes his debut on this record. His vocals are much more notably higher pitched than Craig, making the clean vocal track sounding similar to a release from A Skylit Drive or possibly even Pierce the Veil.

Overall, the album is a great listen. For any DGD fans that remember Happiness and their self-titled record Dance Gavin Dance, Acceptance Speech is almost like a mash-up between the two.

As Pearson sings in “The Robot with Human Hair Pt 4,” “Don’t be fucking cynical,” I think that’s good advice for listening to this record. Forget what you know about DGD, but not what you love. Because everything you’ve ever loved about DGD still remains on Acceptance Speech in abundance.


Contributions by Nick Batson and Rachel Ellenbogen

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