REVIEW: Every Avenue – Picture Perfect

everyavenuepictureArtist: Every Avenue
Album: Picture Perfect
Genre: Pop Rock
Label: Fearless

It’s been a little over a year and a half since Every Avenue released their debut album for Fearless Records and it would seem the group has barely had a break since. Selling over 20,000 copies and being able to tour the world doesn’t come for just any band, but those who are driven by true passion for music and that has always been the first thing anyone whose seen Every Avenue live have noticed. Regardless of the venue or crowd, they always put their all into their art and it’s paid off, but now comes the true challenge: The Sophomore release. Many bands have fallen victim to the fabled “Sophomore Slump” over the years and now it’s time to see if Every Avenue’s Picture Perfect has what it takes to carry the band even further into their already impressive careers.

Before we dig too deep into the meat [music] of the record, I think it’s good to once again mention that this is a genre not focused on lyrical depth. Songs about girls are rampant and songs about ethical issues, etc. are extremely rare. That said, I think Every Avenue have differentiated themselves quite a bit between this release and the last. We have the same subject material of memories [“For Always, Forever”], girls that hurt you [“I Forgive You”], girls that were whores [“Girls Like That”], girls who got away [“Clumsy Little Heart”], and conversations you had in the past [“Mindset”], but the colorful writing style of the group allows for us [the listeners] to feel like we all share the same memories. It’s descriptive enough to paint a visual, but keeps from segmenting the crowd almost entirely. It’s an impressive feat for anyone, let alone a band in a genre that’s riddled with redundancy and concepts older than the members of the bands.

Outside of the lyrics, Every Avenue have shown ridiculously impressive growth on the music front. While still sticking to their pop rock with the occasional synth line style, the group’s use of accents, time, and key changes completely caught me off guard. I mean, one would assume with similar subject material would come a similar sound, but there is something remarkable about the sheer force of the instrumentation on this release [insert a big thumbs to Mitch Allen and Mike Green whose production work on the record is simply something to be heard].

In particular, I would like to mention two tracks on the record that really stood out to me. “Happy The Hard Way,” a pop rock/ballad hybrid is destined to keeping sad teens company for months to come. The impressive force of the musical accompaniment that I mentioned earlier really comes through here and takes you fro where you are to the world of Every Avenue. Also, the album’s opener “For Always, Forever” has some of the most impressively descriptive lyrics that I’ve found in this genre in a long time. It’s ridiculously catchy and though it’s specifically references elements of growing up in Michigan, I’m sure almost anyone will be able to relate to the emotions conveyed on this track.

Though at times, like any act, Every Avenue can slip into the cliche realm of pop rock, their Sophomore release deals its fair share of scene goodness. When it comes to Picutre Perfect, the hooks are bigger, the guitars are louder, and the results are nothing short of impressive. It’s on album number two and three that the bands really showcase whether or not they have staying power and if this album is any sign, we can expect to see a lot more from Every Avenue in the coming years.

Score: 7.5/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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