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Legendary The Summer Set | Legendary
Cara Demers Name: Legendary
Release Date: April 16, 2013
Record Label: Fearless
Rating: 3.8 out of 5

Review written by: Cara Demers
It’s been almost two years since The Summer Set gave fans a full-length taste of their energetic, quirky and catchy sound. Back then, “Everything’s Fine,” seemed to reveal a more dynamic side of the band, dropping hints that there was much more than meets the eye for this group of five Arizona-native rockers. And while reactions were more than overwhelmingly positive during that 2011 summer, the band’s upcoming third release, “Legendary,” can only top it. After all, with a title like that, it’d be difficult not to. 

The album begins on an incredibly high-note. “Maybe Tonight,” is a song that even frontman Brian Dales described as being magical, and does exactly what an opening track should do: it captivates the listener. It feels rather out-of-character to not start off a Summer Set album with an incredibly upbeat, fast-tempo and happy-go-lucky song that will get stick in your head for days on end, however the change of pace works surprisingly well, proving points of maturity and, like their last album, an incredibly different side that perhaps fan weren’t exactly expecting.   

A few more songs in and we get to “Boomerang,” my personal favorite off the band’s third full-length. Despite some mildly-cheesy lyrics, the song is catchy and still dynamic, something that not only integrates in some of the old school Summer Set, but that also maintains a balance of what fans have come to know and love about the band.

And while it’s cheesy lyrics that The Summer Set has seemed to build such a notable reputation for, I can’t help but wonder if this album managed to out-do even albums past in that department. The album’s title track is, without question, a revolutionary song for the band, however its references to Dale’s own personal habits of How I Met Your Mother reruns are, while clever, a little laughable. “Jukebox (Life Goes On)” manages to sneak in a few Dawson’s Creek references as well, and while this is one of the few bands that can scrape by with such charismatic, carefree spiritual lyrics, perhaps it takes away from the maturing demeanor that, otherwise, fans are probably praising throughout the rest of this track list.  

“F*** You Over” and “The Way We Were” fall into the usual categories of what we’d expect to hear: crafty and perfectly formulated pop songs that hit all the right notes. But there are others that—even for The Summer Set—have me wishing a few new ones would be integrated in here and there. Electric beats and catchy melodies are all the rage this time around, but tracks like “7 Days” possess clear potential of what this band could really do with some fresh ideas and say, an acoustic guitar or truly natural arrangement. The ballad-esque song is cute to say the least. It’s a real standout, and I applaud Dales for doing what he does best in terms of vocals. It has a similar feel to what the band experimented with back on “Life Like This,” with help from the already mentioned “Legendary” among a few others.

In true The Summer Set fashion, “Legendary” is an album that does exactly what I’m assuming it was set-out to do: integrate the best of any previous work and move forward from there. There are infinitely obvious traces of their two prior full-lengths, “Love Like This,” and “Everything’s Fine,” but in tow with this familiarity, there’s a definite moment of realization that this band has put in an exceeding effort to surpass expectations and become more than just a pop-punk band. While it may be an acknowledged note that they could easily transition into mainstream radio, the success is nothing that this band doesn’t deserve at this point in their career. Their effort, growth and continuous skill to create a catchy chorus, one hell of a hook, and overall, an album that, although it may not be Legendary, should not leave fans disappointed.
Facebook Comments: Keep 'em clean folks!
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