Thirteen years from their first release the Princeton, New Jersey pop punk/emo group is still at it. Lead by their only original member Chris Conley, Saves The Day’s seventh studio album Daybreak features 11 new tracks. The album was recorded by the Saves The Day lineup of Conley (vocals/guitar); Arun Bali (guitar/vocals); Rodrigo Palma (bass); and Spencer Peterson (drums) with Peterson leaving shortly after the record was finished.
Daybreak is not a far stretch from Saves The Day’s recent releases. The small differences are noticeable though. Vocally Conley sings softly with a more gentle approach. He never pushes his vocals too hard and he barely reaches the rough and loud sound he once had on older releases. I can’t say I love the tone of Conley’s vocals on Daybreak for this reason. I once really enjoyed the tone he displayed on Saves The Day’s earlier recordings notably for its originality. His tone stood out from other singers. In his delivery he reached heights of real quality and that characteristic stood out. However on Daybreak the vocals fit too closely into the whiny emo genre that is quite spent and overdone these days. It’s a bit upsetting to say they are generic now considering Saves The Day’s place in the emocore surge of the late ‘90s and early 2000s.
The album begins with the five-part title track lasting a total of 10:46. It’s probably the most impressive and likable track on the record for its dynamics and catchy hooks. The song drifts back and forth from loud to soft and hard to slow while the vocals are sweet with memorable melodies. Most of the tracks on the record have a similar and likable feel. They are composed and produced quite well. Other notable tracks are “Z,” “Let It All Go,” “O,” and “Undress Me.”
Overall it is difficult to decide how much I like it. I am left wondering if Saves The Day is trying to appeal to older fans or trying to gain new ones.