Self-Titled Perfection

October 11, 2011 by  

Man Overboard releases music gold.

Artwork by Ed Gloor

In an attempt to follow up the success that came with the release of the album, Real Talk, Man Overboard released its self-titled album on September 27, 2011, on its new label Rise Records.

The album doesn’t make any drastic changes to the endearing style of the band; in fact, the group doesn’t make any apparent changes at all. However, the way this album is constructed, musically, vocally, and the overall flow, makes this collection of music album-of-the-year worthy.

The vocals and musical stylings of the entire band mesh extremely well. There isn’t a single song that seems to offer more emotion from the vocals or any single instrument, making the album a more complete experience.

Some notable songs include Dead End Dreams, Picture Perfect, and Atlas. All these songs personify pop punk to me. They attack topics commonly talked about, but the band flat out says what it means. Instead of bogging down its songs with illusive metaphors, the band gets straight to the point; when they question what it means to be an adult, they outright question it. It is difficult to explain to someone who isn’t an avid listener to this genre of music, but for those who understand, I think many would agree that Man Overboard does this fantastically.

Dead End Dreams is a fantastic song, and for a teenage bleeding heart, it hits home. The lyrics, “I’m busy trying to save my world, and making plans to see a girl. I’ll do both if I can and figure out how old I am,” really strikes a familiar chord in my own life. Trying to maintain a normal life with the distraction of girls and attempting to balance the two isn’t always the easiest thing to do. This song is about just that. From my perspective, I could see a lot of teenagers similar to myself relating to the heartfelt lyrics.

What I enjoy most about the song Picture Perfect is the fact that it isn’t a love song that would normally be heard on the radio. I don’t even think I could consider it a love song at all; but instead a song about struggling to make a relationship work. “And that’s when they fell in love, not at first, but when push really came to shove. And her picture perfect world couldn’t keep her happy. Her picture perfect world couldn’t keep her happy no more.” A lot of times people see love as people being happy and having good times with someone all the time. In this song, however, it shows that that isn’t enough; that struggle defines the parameters of the love people can feel for another.

The song Atlas reminds me of the scene from the movie Step Brothers, when Will Ferrel’s character is in therapy, asking what exactly makes an adult, an adult. Obviously this song isn’t comedic like Ferrel’s part, but both address the topic pretty well. “I stare out of my window and I look at my neighbors and take notes on being normal. How to wave and be nice or talk to a child or offer a hand or actually smile. Maybe I’ll learn how to talk to people, maybe I’ll learn how to laugh, maybe I’ll end up just like my dad. But I just don’t feel like a grown up yet.” In all honesty, I don’t really see what makes someone a grown up. Is it paying bills that makes someone grown up? Or does it come with age? This song’s idea isn’t something that is normally talked about, but I think it is a pretty interesting concept.

This album is beautiful. I don’t regret giving The Wonder Years five stars on its recent album, but I feel that this album is on a different level. The Wonder Years earned the five stars that I gave it, the album was spectacular. If I could though, I would give Man Overboard and its self-titled album six stars, but five stars will have to suffice. This is an album worth checking out, no matter what genre of music you enjoy.

★★★★★