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The Critics Corner: Albums
Mayday Parade | Valdosta
Florida alt-rockers crafty tasty and powerful EP
Name: Valdosta EP
Label: Atlantic Records/Fearless
Release Date: March 8, 2011
Rating: 4.8 out of 5

By: Ashley Rosenberg

Mayday Parade always manages to put a unique spin on everything that they release, whether it be honest lyrics, their singing style, or the way that they play their music. I actually started liking Mayday Parade after hearing acoustic versions of their songs, so when I saw announcements for the Valdosta EP, I was very excited.  This EP is full of stripped down guitars, intense vocals, and a lot of relatable emotions.  It is a great release from the band and will be appreciated by new and old fans alike.

The EP starts off with a soothing song, full of soft harmonies and guitar.  Amber Lynn almost seems like a reverse Prince Charming story.  Although he was her Prince Charming when they first got together, he did something to make him need to apologize and now he is sitting on his white horse waiting for her to save him.  The end of the song is outlined by just their harmonies and the violin making it delicate, but full of unfulfilled want.

This version of Jamie All Over seems more powerful than the previously released versions.  It is stripped down simply to guitars and vocals and the lyrics become more pronounced than before.  He dreams about time that they spent together, but doesn't want it to be a dream.  He wishes it was not over because everything was better when she was around; this memory being one of the best times with her.  It is a song of longing and wishing that a beautiful time had never ended.

Kids In Love epitomizes the feeling of being in love when you are young.  It seems so perfect then, that  the break up sometimes makes no sense. It was still real love, just a little more naïve; he is trying to find out where it went wrong because he is missing her. The slowness of this song and the style that he sings it really expresses his sadness that the relationship ended.

The piano on this track evokes feelings of loneliness and missing someone.  Your Song is slow, sad, and sings of memories of how a relationship was before she had to leave.  She does not like where she is and he does not like that she cannot stay when she comes back.  He will do anything to make her want to stay there again, but they both know that she has to go back sometime.  It's a reflection of a relationship moving on both physically and mentally.

When beginning a relationship, there are always feelings of how perfect things are and will be, but there is always a fear that the relationship will not be what you want it to be.  Bruised and Scarred is that realization in a sort of denial.  He does not want to be alone and he has hurt her, but he tells her that he is just a kiss away.  He does not want to let go, even though she has already broken his heart. The violin accompanies the guitar in this sad love song, giving it a unique sorrowful sound.

This song evokes so many emotions; it is so heavy and so real, but so good. Terrible Things is about how life can be both beautiful and terrible.  He falls in love with a girl and asks her to marry him; later they find out that she is terminally ill.  The instruments pick up as he tells his son that he hopes life is only beautiful for him, but it is evident that he does not regret being with his wife even though parts of it were terrible.  The song is haunting and very sad but so beautifully done. I will not lie, I cried every time I have listened to this song so far.

This EP is so powerful.  It really coasts through every emotion that you feel when you're going through different aspects of love while growing up.  Though each song has the common thread of love, the vocals combined with the subtleties of the instruments create a unique facet and tone for each one.  I was very impressed by this acoustic EP.  I felt that it was a very strong effort from Mayday Parade that truly helped showcase their wide range of musical and vocal talent.

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