Mayday Parade – “A Lesson in Romantics”

We’ve all had relationship issues, and sometimes the fights and break-ups make us want to curl up in bed and listen to music. The best CD for this is Mayday Parade’s break-up bible, “A Lesson In Romantics.” The 12-song album is an amazing combination of well-crafted lyrics and catchy, exciting music. This is one lesson that definitely won’t put you to sleep.

Mayday Parade doesn’t have the best guitarist, drummer, or singer. In fact, lead vocalist Derek Sanders’ voice is hoarse, breathy, and at times sounds like a dog’s bark. But somehow, it all comes together. The men and women described in “A Lesson In Romantics” are far from perfect, and a flawless opera singer’s voice just wouldn’t fit.

The fantastic lyrics and excessively long titles prove that Jason Lancaster, who left Mayday Parade shortly after writing this album, is an outstanding songwriter. There are titles like “You Be the Anchor That Keeps My Feet On The Ground, I’ll Be the Wings That Keep Your Heart In The Clouds” and lyrics like “So I will run, until my feet don’t touch the ground” (from “Ocean and ­Atlantic”).

The music in “A Lesson In Romantics” seems to fade to the background at first. But the more you listen, the more you see the skillful drum patterns and masterful guitar solos in tracks like “Black Cat.” “Miserable At Best,” with only vocals and piano, provides a nice break from the fast-paced guitar and drumming that makes up the majority of the album.

What really makes “A Lesson In Romantics” so fantastic is the emotion. You can feel the pain, joy, and love in every note. My personal favorite, “I’d Hate to Be You When People Find Out What This Song Is About,” has brought me to the verge of tears because of the clear heartbreaking love and despair. The lyrics in “Take This To Heart” are so easy to relate to that you can instantly imagine the entire story behind them.

“A Lesson In Romantics” shows that Mayday Parade is musically gifted, lyrically fascinating, and emotionally dynamic. Their full-length debut is excellent from beginning to end. “A Lesson In Romantics” will teach us a truly unforgettable lesson in heartbreak, true love, and music.

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