Story of the Year's newest release “Page Avenue – Ten Years and Counting” is more than just a re-release of their now decade-old album. This album brings new takes on old songs bringing back nostalgic feelings to longtime fans and a sound and style that will attract newcomers.
Whether you’ve heard these songs in that past or not, this album by itself is a great example of acoustic music and how new takes on old songs can produce just as much addiction to the band as the original versions. Similar to what Streetlight Manifesto and Toh Kay have done with their newest album “The Hands That Thieve”, Story of the Year captures the essence of the first versions of the songs on “Page Avenue” and turns them into something more and updated. Although the majority of the songs are acoustic versions, there are a few songs including “In the Shadows” that have taken more of a re-imagining mindset not limited to acoustic translations.
The album opens up with “And the Hero Will Drown”, pulling listeners in with compelling piano progressions and re-awaking vocal melodies that will bring the listener back to where they were when they first heard the songs. This take on the song gets the listener ready for the acoustic atmosphere that is presented in almost every song. “And the Hero Will Drown” starts the album off with the right sound to lead into the following songs “Until the Day I Die” and “Anthem of Our Dying Day”. These songs follow the path of the opening track, staying true to the acoustic sound and keeping things immersible and interesting with their emotional vocal lines and chord progressions. The album then takes a side road with “In the Shadows”, showing the band’s more intense style with this updated version of the song. This song is really the only one to change up the pace until “Divide and Conquer” comes along towards the end of the album which ends with the emotional and dark track, “Razorblades”.
This album walks between a thin line sounding very much like a singer-songwriter type album, but manages to lean more towards the side of being an original and creative reworking of nostalgic tunes. Although there are a few lulls throughout the album in the repetition of “Razorblades” and the ambiguity of “In the Shadows”, the album overall is a huge success. Bringing back memories of debut songs as well as intriguing the newest of ears to the powerful and identifiable songs that Story of the Year has been delivering ever since the 2003 release of the original version of “Page Avenue”. Whether you are looking for something close to home that you can rely on, or just want to reminisce in the new sounds of an old favorite, this new imaginable take on the album will not disappoint.