Unfortunately, you will never see the Promise Ring
the way they were in the days of Thirty Degrees Everywhere
, but you can at least appreciate the good parts of what they have become. Their emotionally tense and sentimental edge has pretty much entirely disappeared; everything is happy, bouncy, and catchy as hell, which isn't always a bad thing. This excessively poppy direction that the Promise Ring
boys take throughout this entire record was heavily hinted at on their three-song EP Boys & Girls. Perhaps one of the more upsetting things about this album is that the lyrics have lost that classic Promise Ring
feel -- they actually make clear sense a lot of the time. At times, the music just gets so poppy that it is sickening, such as in the sappy "bop bop bop" background vocals on "Skips a Beat (Over You)," and the references to the band members' names in an otherwise fairly decent song "Things Just Getting Good." Although three-fourths of the album is pretty much bad pop songs, it somehow grows on you, as those Promise Ring
kids have the uncanny ability to do.