At first listen, City Lights' new release “The Way Things Should Be” sounds reminiscent of bands like Yellowcard and Anberlin. With their pop-punk vocals and their speeding drum beats, City Lights' fits into the group of bands these days putting a spin on traditional pop punk with hardcore breakdowns and airy guitar leads. “The Way Things Should Be” shows that City Lights is sticking to a well known sound, and creating a very good one at that.
The songs that stick out on this album to me are “Jeremy's Song”, “If We Move On”, and “See You At The Top”. These two being in the first half of the album, it starts the listener off with a strong sense of the atmosphere. “Jeremy's Song” has some Blink-182 vibes in it and it goes to show that pop-punk is still around and kicking. The drumming on this album is a bit more exciting than other punk bands, keeping things busier than usual. The guitars on this album are on the fence of hardcore and punk, giving everything a harder edge. This is something that can be heard a lot these days with new bands sporting the pop-punk genre. And the vocals of this band fit in great with the music and genre. The only problem is they fit in a bit too well, it's hard to find the difference between his voice and singers from other bands like A Day To Remember.
“The Way Things Should Be” is a great album for anyone looking to add some more music to their ever-growing pop-punk collection. City Lights brings a great (but not necessarily new) sound to the table with their newest albums. My complaints for this though is that there are already WAY TOO MANY cookie-cutter pop punk bands. To me, City Lights doesn't do too much to stand out. The songs are good, the sound is good, but I've heard it all before. I personally don't see the appeal but the band brings a good atmosphere and I guess that should be enough for me!
So if you're into the genre, check out this band because you will probably like them. Especially if you have already had A Day To Remember's new album on repeat, this could be a good next step. “The Way Things Should Be” is definitely proof that pop-punk is not dead, just different than it used to be! Bands like Yellowcard are still kicking it, but check out some new stuff!