Over the last few years, I’ve come to terms with the fact that Mayday Parade will never impress me as much as they did a decade ago. They’ve always struck me as a band who performed a certain style of music well and then will leave themselves stale for the remainder of the album that tries showing any signs of straying away from that specific style. More recently, Mayday Parade have fared well. After the very underwhelming Monsters In The Closet, the band followed up with Black Lines, which is one of the best collections of their career.
There’s a very fine line for the Mayday Parade albums that I enjoy. And Sunnyland is that line. The lead single (and third album track), “Piece Of Your Heart,” was so overjoying. I don’t remember being that relieved for a song that pleasing (since Mayday Parade released the bonus track to their 10 Year Anniversary Edition of Tales Told By Dead Friends).
I can’t say that Sunnyland is anything new or unique. But it still feels like it is. “Piece Of Your Heart” is an amplification of Mayday Parade’s greatest qualities. There’s a lot of things about that song that I love. One of Black Lines‘ best qualities was that it was the aggressiveness. That style rears its head on “It’s Nowhere,” a magnificently dark song that feels fresh.
One of Sunnyland‘s brightest features is the amount of throwback-to-mid-2000s-pop-punk songs there are. “Stay the Same,” “How Do You Like Me Now?,” and especially the heart-throbbing “Where Are You?” are all a blast from the past. Sometimes, Sunnyland feels like a mood meter. There are almost as much slow, emotional songs as there are fast-paced, hard-hitting, aggressive hits.
Sunnyland is a collection of Mayday Parade’s best qualities. If you’re a fan of Black Lines Mayday Parade or A Lesson In Romantics Mayday Parade, you’ll adore this album. Sure, it took awhile to grow on, but I can’t name many negative qualities for it. Sunnyland is easy to adore, and might as well be Mayday Parade’s best album in years.