Top Ten Songs by Brand New

Brand New, an alternative rock/pop-punk band from Long Island, NY, is a group I first started listening to in college at the encouragement of friends. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I grew really attached and decided to see them live in concert. The songs were stuck in my head for months! These guys truly have the undeniable talent that many popular artists today lack. Musicianship, incredible vocals, and lyrics that are clever, deep, and relatable to its audience, Brand New has it all. I highly recommend this band and am looking forward to their third major release on November 21, 2006. But for now, here’s a list of what I rate to be their top ten songs from the first two albums.

10. Failure by Design, Album: Your Favourite Weapon

“This is a lesson in procrastination; I kill myself because I’m so frustrated. And every single second that I put it off means another lonely night I gotta race the clock”. Who doesn’t remember a time like in school or just being too laissez-faire to make something happen in life? It’s an insanely catchy song about setting oneself up for failure, by choice.

9. Jude Law and a Semester Abroad, Album: Your Favourite Weapon

This tune starts out with an edgy guitar and gives way to the singer’s evidently bitter remarks about his ex. It is indeed a tale of heartbreak that the high school audience will soak up like a Laguna Beach girl and the sun, but I do enjoy it and the creativity used in the title of the song. Jude Law personifies the “proper English boy” that the singer’s ex has left for.

8. I Will Play My Game Beneath the Spin Light, Album: Deja Entendu

Acoustic guitar coupled with metaphors and analogies allow the band to tell its fans the realities of being on tour. It can be a thrill, but the group also misses family and friends. For all the good things that come with being in a band a having a fan base, the singer realizes his life will never have the same simplicity it once did.

7. Me Vs Maradona Vs Elvis, Album: Deja Entendu

With a slower tempo and a deeper meaning than some of the aforementioned songs, this number alludes to the oh-so-common occurrence of a drunken girl being taken advantage of after a night at the bar. Not forcefully of course, but the song really goes into detail about why this happens. It’s a unique track that I’m not sure many other artists have explored in such depth.

6. Ok I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don’t, Album: Deja Entendu

I won’t even begin to list out any memorable lyrics in this one because there are far too many. At the outset, the message seems incredibly arrogant and captures that cocky “rock-star” mentality, but it is clear that this is all being said in sarcasm. What makes this song great is the emotional discharge one gets from listening to it. It can get you to start thinking in the same way.

5. Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades, Album: Deja Entendu

Aside from the great sound and the incredible guitar sequence in the middle of the song, this song reverses sexual stereotypes because it’s written about a guy who thinks his relationship is moving just a bit too fast.

4. Seventy Times Seven, Album: Your Favourite Weapon

A fast paced and catchy song, Seventy Times Seven, is about a relationship broken by cheating, specifically the singer’s girlfriend cheating on him with one of his best friends. I love the intensity in which the song is sung and with great lines like “Is that what you call tact? You’re as subtle as a brick in the small of my back” it can’t help but make my list. The situation of heartbreak and anger is something that a lot of listeners can relate with.

3. Soco Amaretto Lime, Album: Your Favourite Weapon

If I had known about this song at the time of its release, it would have been my anthem. After all, I was about to turn 18. It’s simply a song all about being young and the good times had with friends, played over an acoustic guitar. Everything seems so perfect at that moment so the singer writes about how he hopes nothing will ever change.

“I’m gonna stay 18 forever, so we can stay like this forever, and we’ll never miss a party ’cause we keep them going constantly. And we’ll never have to listen to anyone about anything ’cause it’s all been done and it’s all been said we’re the coolest kids and we take what we can get”

As simple as the message is, other lyrics house clever similes that capture the essence of the moment. Listeners can form a clear mental image of themselves going through the same parts of their lives, which is what makes it so special.

2. Play Crack the Sky, Album: Deja Entendu

Another acoustic piece and the end track to the album, Play Crack the Sky is another lyrical masterpiece that uses the ocean and a shipwreck as metaphors for love. It’s full of layers and is truly a haunting song for anyone that listens to it themselves at night by the water. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that this song gives me a twinge inside my chest every time I hear it. I can almost feel that cold ocean breeze.

1. Guernica, Album: Deja Entendu

The track starts off with a powerful and haunting drum introduction and never backs down with the intensity. It’s about the lead singer’s grandfather’s battle with cancer andthe title is actually taken from a historical event during the Spanish Civil War. Here, the cancer works the same way, grinding away at its victim while family members are seemingly powerless to help. Jesse once again uses creative description including my favorite “Is this the way a toy feels when its batteries run dry?”

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