It’s hard as a band to write a complete album, the hours brainstorming, demoing, recording mixing…. it’s a pain staking process. And then people like me will write how it’s derivative or older work or this sounds just like [insert band that’s even remotely similar]. It’s easy on this side to critique, for a band it’s even easier. Trying to produce work that you see and hear in your head is almost impossible. I don’t think the get up kids tried as hard as I am thinking to create “problems”, because it’s a record from top to bottom, is significant and excellent in every aspect. Or they did exactly the opposite and spent painstaking hours fingers bleeding, ears ringing and pushed themselves to every single limit they have. But it feels as if this is a record that genuinely and organically happened and because of this gives the album such a complete and perfect feel.
The first album in eight years, feels as if the band never skipped a beat. “Satellite” opens the record on a high note, feeling like a classic Get Up Kids track and sets a tone for the album with energy and rhythm. “The Problem Is Me” and “Now Or Never” perfectly encapsulates the emo and rock genres that the band has perfected over the years. One of the standout tracks “Lou Barlow” holds a lyric that is heavy, relatable and powerful, “I thought forever meant forever, but sometimes people change”. The album keeps you engaged with perfectly placed ebbs and flows giving a balance to the energy and tenderness of the album as a whole. “Symphony Of Silence” and “Brakelines” are the energetic rock songs that are needed before the album closer, “You Ghost Is Gone”. Closing the album on a quieter and sadder note, the track holds some extremely emotional and powerful lyrics like “Once I heard you say, you want me to be happy, but how could I be, when I’m lying awake, in the bed we made”.
“Problems” is an answer to the question can bands age well and release material that not only showcases the artist in a new light, but keep the light the once had still bright. This is a record, from front to back that moves quickly and swiftly, but in a perfected way that neither drags or disengages. A perfect album to blast with the windows down in the middle of summer, as if the Get Up Kids waited to release this just in time to do that.