Bottom line: 4.5 out of 5
The Wonder Years have been around since 2007 and I only found them a few months ago. There first release was an effort entitled “Get Stoked On It!” And to the band and lead singer Dan “soupy” Campbell, the album was considered a joke. This album made the band a laughing stock in the beginning of their career, and they’ve been growing and maturing ever since.
6 years and 3 releases later, the band has release their 4th and most mature album to date. The album runs 13 tracks (including a 7:35 closer) and contains strong lyrics and vocals, as well as top performances from the rest of the band. Opening up with “There, There” the record starts off with a kicking opener with Dan singing “I’m sorry I don’t laugh at the right times.”
Memorable lyrics are all over TGG, taking references of world war 2 to help symbolize and establish metaphors about growing up an out of the teen years. One of the my favorite lines comes from “Passing Through a Screen Door,” where a conflicted Dan yells “I’m 26, all the people I graduated with, all have kids, all have wives, all have people that care if they come home at night.” The lines of the album all have this theme to it, of becoming to old to stay a kid, and seeing everyone you know move on with life.
The album closes in a way that I only wish happened more often. The final track is “I Just Wanna Sell Out my Funeral” and considering the song is over 7 minutes long (very long for pop punk,) and is a great track, is amazing. Halfway through the track, the band allures back to the hooks and lines of the other songs of the record, meshing together everything that made the album what it is. The lines, when put all together at once, is one of the best moments I’ve ever heard in music; some listeners have stated they had shed tears, and I have to admit I came close at points.
This record is a gem in the genre of pop punk, simply put. The only song I found myself not liking was “Madelyn,” and that’s solely due to me not liking the recording style of it. If you like punk music, this is a must have album. If you’re not a fan it still is worth having a listen, though I can’t guarantee your reactions will be the same as mine. But hey, some music isn’t for everyone, and while this is not the greatest generation, this is most certainly the greatest Wonder Years album.