Music Review: Motion City Soundtrack's "My Dinosaur Life"

1/20/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Sanela Djokovic

Motion City Soundtrack’s fourth studio album, and first off a major record label (Columbia Records), does not stray far away from the niche they occupy. Although “My Dinosaur Life” is hardly an adamant employment of pop/punk music, it does supply some playlist-worthy tracks for young pop/punk fans.

“My Dinosaur Life,” produced by Mark Hoppus of Blink 182, provides a number of songs that have strong introductions, gloomy lyrics and a young-at-heart, get-up-and-go energy that fuse together well enough. “Worker Bee” is a nice catalyst, with its melodic start that turns into a harder sound, coinciding with Justin Pierre’s vocal variety, which creates a gutsy liveliness. The next track, “A Lifeless Ordinary (Need a Little Help),” expands on energy by using a pop-structured foundation that creates a sing-along, sweet-sounding melody. It’s musical optimism and hopeful lyrics combine for the purpose of getting stuck in one’s head: "I think I can figure it out, but I’m gonna/ Need a little help to get through it." Songs such as “Disappear” and “Delirium” kick into another gear, igniting the rhythm with a little bit of crazy, burning into something quick, loud and catchy.

While some of the short, aggressive songs have character and spunk, others feel archetypal and lacking in character. “Her Words Destroyed My Planet” is guitar-drilled and chorus-friendly, but it typifies the song about the man standing in the ruins of his dysfunction, modern-day romance: "I still fuss with the tourniquet/ And tried to squeeze on your dreams/ Slung it on—it’s a perfect fit/ What do you suppose that means?" We see the same thing in “Stand Too Close,” a stripped-down attempt to convey the efforts and hardships of the romantically impaired. By the time we get to “Hysteria,” it starts to sound way too familiar, way too repetitive. By the time we get to “Skin and Bones,” a failed attempt at lyrical soul-searching, it becomes depressing.

The strongest song on “My Dinosaur Life” is “History Lesson,” a song that stands out and stands up, thanks to its straightforward and simplistic rock sound. Every element of this song can be appreciated--the melody, the vocals, the message are not lost in the pounding. It is the most lasting and truest track on the album, engaging all the way: "There was something in the waves/ They were right to take our place."

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