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CD Review: Taking Back Sunday

New Again (Warner Bros.)

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Taking Back Sunday, the Long Island fivesome who have been through a slew of members since their 1999 inception, are often treated with reverence by bands and fans. There's no denying that the band, which released their major-label debut, Louder Now, in 2006, can write a solid emo number, complete with smartly placed hooks and just the right amount of edginess. But the thing about perfecting the formula for catchy, likable rock songs is that eventually all your songs become formulaic. And that's boring. The congregation that worships at the TBS altar may gasp in horror, but New Again, the band's fourth album, is basically 11 versions of the same song, dulled to flattened effect by its producers. It's pointless to comment on individual songs because they all blend together. The only thing you remember when the album is over is that you heard some music and it was reasonably decent. But now you want to go listen to a band that takes chances and grows up on each successive record. — Emily Zemler

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