Album Review: Taking Back Sunday – TAYF10 Acoustic


Last year marked the tenth anniversary of the initial release of ‘Tell All Your Friends’, and, aside from making lots of people feel their age, it also led to a series of acoustic anniversary shows. For those not lucky enough to grab a ticket or live in the US, these have been now been released in a CD/DVD combo to appease our nostalgia.

Made up of the best bits of the LA and Chicago shows, ‘TAYF10’ (the CD, we’ll come to the DVD later) is 45 minutes of acoustic glory, giving fans an opportunity to get an intimate experience with the band. A unique experience for Taking Back Sunday fanatics, you can enjoy Michelle De Rosa (née Nolan) taking to the stage once again to contribute vocals to ‘Bike Scene’ and ‘Ghost Man on Third.’

While being able to hear the audience singing along and cheering gives a nice “It’s like I’m really there” feel to some of the songs (‘You Know How I Do’ really immerses you, as does ‘Great Romances of the 21st Century’), at points I wish they’d tuned some of it out. Yes, I know it’s a live album, but do we really need to hear ear-splitting screeching during ‘Cute Without the E’? As always, Adam Lazarra’s vocals aren’t the strongest but he still manages to make the songs sound charming and heartfelt ten years on – no mean feat when they’ve undoubtedly been sung to death.

The crowd banter included on the CD is fairly to the point, giving interesting reflections on the songs. Lazarra admits the line “I’m in your room, is this turning you on?” during ‘Great Romances of the 21st Century’ makes him cringe now, and that ‘Head Club’ is probably an ill-advised title for a song.

While you may not expected it to work acoustically, ‘Timberwolves at New Jersey’ is the undisputed highlight of this album and managed to reignite a passion for a song which I played over and over when I was 13 – it just sounds amazing, with the acoustic piano giving a fresh breath of life to it. ‘Head Club’ also sounds completely different, and it’s impressing that Taking Back Sunday have found ways to reinvigorate these songs, giving the listener something new. Of course they could have just released an acoustic album, but the combination of live and acoustic is something special, and is vastly superior to their previous live album.

The restored introduction to ‘The Blue Channel’  is also an interesting listen; originally sped up in post-production; the slower version sounds haunting and changes the atmosphere of the track completely.

Ending on B-side ‘Your Own Disaster,’ ‘TAYF10’ manages to remind the listener just what makes Taking Back Sunday so great and left me secretly hoping for a ‘Where You Want to Be’ 2014 tour.

For those wondering if the DVD is worth a look, unless you’re a die-hard fan I wouldn’t recommend it. The DVD is an extended version of the CD with added stage banter and some not particularly riveting stories about the making of the record. However everyone who screamed along to this as a teenager should buy this album, ‘TAYF10’ manages to fabulously combine nostalgia with an intimate gig experience and it will remind you just why you used to listen to ‘You’re So Last Summer’ over and over in your bedroom. A must-have live album.


TAYF10’ by Taking Back Sunday is available now through

Taking Back Sunday links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Jay Sullivan.


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