February 24, 2009
604 Records
Pop/Rock, Punk-Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock

Album Review

Many casual listeners who only know Marianas Trench from their hit single "Cross My Heart" may chalk them up as simply another Fall Out Boy knockoff hoping to steal an ounce of success from the international smash band. Of course, those comparisons may be justified, seeing as how Marianas Trench's lead single flows in the same veins as Fall Out Boy's monstrous singles, bursting with punk-pop and catchy lyrics in accompaniment. However, those who don't take a look at the band's other music are truly missing out on the magic that the band has constructed on their second album, Masterpiece Theater. The group has truly created an excellent concept album, experimenting with a nice variety of musical mediums that complements the bands sound quite well. From the Queen-reminiscent album opener "Masterpiece Theater, Pt. 1," the band never fails to break out of the box that has been sealed so tightly by a handful of third-rate pop-punk bands. The triple dose of "Masterpiece Theater" tracks, parts one, two, and three, are welcome songs that sound like the Broadway rendition of the perfectly crafted emo-pop tune. Sometimes the experimenting seems a bit off, like with the sampled Lion King-esque vocals on the impassioned "Beside You." They're a little laughable at first, but a second or third complete listen of the song reveals the simple stroke of genius that makes the track a thousand times better than the rest of the music that plagues radio waves today. "Sing Sing" borrows beats from the Beat generation to find a rocking sound that's bound to be played in cars and bedrooms for years to come. That's not to say the whole album is brilliantly unique; there are several tracks that fit the pop mold perfectly, such as "Acadia" and "Celebrity Status," but they don't feel like sellouts; rather, they are nice, mainstream complements that stop the album from feeling too erratic. The album could do without "Good to You," the album's love duet featuring the always impressive Kate Voegele (Voegele could do better with the song if she covered it herself, but the band, especially its lead vocalist Josh Ramsay, seems to be overpowering her). However, tracks like "Perfect" show that even the album's more traditional tracks are still excellent; "Perfect" is the sort of anthem that fans will be cheering at this group's next tour. Ultimately, Masterpiece Theater is a stellar release from a band in a genre with so much consistency and mediocrity; this album truly stands out from the pack by bringing something truly different and exciting to the table that's bound to earn them plenty of fans and plenty of success.
Matthew Chisling, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Masterpiece Theatre I
  2. All To Myself
  3. Cross My Heart
  4. Beside You
  5. Acadia
  6. Masterpiece Theatre II
  7. Sing Sing
  8. Good To You
  9. Celebrity Status
  10. Perfect
  11. Lover Dearest
  12. Masterpiece Theatre III
  13. Cross My Heart [Acoustic] [*][Version]
  14. Good To You [*]
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