Alt Tuesday: Motion City Soundtrack

I need to be honest with myself here. I knew I would be writing this review eventually. When people ask me the whole “If you could only take one album onto a desert island to listen to for the rest of forever, what would it be” question, I always respond with this: Motion City Soundtrack’s Commit This To Memory.

The album is a gem from start to finish, displaying well-structured songs that are made unique by a pop punk synth sound from keyboardist Jesse Johnson and drummer Tony Thaxton. Justin Pierre, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist, makes this album heartfelt and emotionally accessible. A recovering addict with low self-esteem, Pierre comes across as a real, genuine person with real problems.

The album starts out with the genius “Attractive Today,” a two-minute punch in the face (metaphorically) that lets the listener know that Pierre is “wrecked,” “overblown,” and “fed up with the fucking common cold.” Pierre just wants to feel attractive for once… and, really, don’t we all? There is then a smooth transition into the lead single, “Everything Is Alright.” The track has a wonderful hook and honest verses, and is brought home by some guest vocals by Patrick Stump in the bridge.

Other standouts on the album are… well, all of them. There is not a single track on this album that I can say is weak. “Resolution” is a personal favorite in which Pierre expresses his disdain for the New Years holiday and the arbitrary nature of New Years resolutions. “Time Turned Fragile” is a fast-paced track with a lot of back and forth in dynamics and rhythms. Not to mention a beastly drum part in the bridge that showcases Thaxton’s endless bank of creative rhythms.

The one potential negative I can say about this album is that it does not exactly have a lot of variety in the genre of the songs. Motion City Soundtrack does pop punk with synth thrown in very, very well. And I think they know that. So they stick to a singular sound and show all the different ways that you can display that you’ve mastered it. If you like either of the videos I embedded, I can guarantee you that you’ll love the rest of the album, too. And who knows? Maybe you’ll want it on a desert island someday, too.