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One Eleven Records
Buy This Album
Band Website

The Goodnight Moon
Poison Like Your Own
Silhouettes (All Eyes Above)
Sign of Her Glory
Liars and Battlelines
Pop Destroyed the Scene
The Blue Roses
Life, Fall Fast Now
Set The Sails, Red Beret
The Weekend
<< 11) Enjoy This Drive >>
Having To Let Go
        I'm going to throw a few words at you that describe this album: Amazing. Beautiful. Unprecedented. Wonderland. Brilliant. These are all words that threw themselves into my mind within the first minute of the first track on The Goodnight Moon. And to think, that was just an intro.
         A lot of great bands out there have evolved from acoustic solo projects. Dashboard Confessional needs little introduction, and 111 labelmates the Spill Canvas have made a tight niche with their new album. Rookie of the Year has, for the past few months, warned us that they had a new album coming out, and that we better hold onto our hats because they weren't messing around with this one. I had the opportunity to hear a few of the unmastered tracks before the album's release, and was excited for the real thing.
         Amazing. Beautiful. Unprecendented. Wonderland. Brilliant. These songs are the soundtrack to your love affair with breathing. This album represents the type of artistic achievement that musicians have strived to create since Beethoven.
         I need to worry you, however--if you're going to download a handfull of tracks and give them a quick once-over to see if I'm full of it with all this praise, you're going to find yourself disagreeing with me. While this record contains complex pop elements and your typical hooks-to-get-stuck-in-your-head system of songwriting, the beauty of this album exists when all the songs are absorbed as a single product of creativity. You also really need to set aside a little time to really enjoy the album--your car is always a sanctuary for this kind of thing, or pop it into your CD player and take a nap with it singing you to sleep.
         I suppose I have some explaining to do. Rookie of the Year was originally just Ryan Dunson spilling the contents of his chest over an acoustic guitar, and his piercing honesty and deathgrip vocal talents got him and his moniker Rookie of the Year signed to 111 Records. Picking up a few more members--TJ Holt, Pat Murphy, and All Rights Reserved's Mike Kamerman--he went over his musical style with a fine-toothed comb and integrated a full band sound.
         When a lot of bands do this, it can either become hardly-acoustic-at-all (Spill Canvas) or still-acoustic-but-with-a-bassline (Dashboard). With Rookie, especially on The Goodnight Moon (produced by Ed Rose--if that means nothing to you, culture yourself and look him up) Ryan's gentle acoustic/vocal mix has been accented brilliantly by drums and bass. Mike's electric guitar riffs coat the songs with a sense of power that only furthers the passion of each song.
         This is one of the rare albums where the music could be described as "tender" and "sweet," but is still a collection of tunes you just need to crank. Every instrument fits so well, you just want more. Brilliant breakdowns and hooks make each song a masterpiece. All the tracks fit together perfectly to create a single artistic entity, while maintaining their own unique identity.
          "Pop Destroyed the Scene," featuring creative and vocal work by 111 Records' Brad Fischetti, is a peppy but intense piece. "The Blue Roses" is almost too sweet at its start, Ryan's vocals coating the song with a pretty heavy layer of "ballad" touched by the presence of... yeah, violins. Then piano. But as the song progresses, you see the diversity of Rookie of the Year present throughout a four-minute song as it evolves. Basslines on songs like this dance with the riffs, with the drums holding it all up for you to taste, and when the vocals (lead and background) kick in, it's nirvana. One of my personal favorites has always been "Enjoy This Drive"--a song I heard a demo of months and months ago that has been fine tuned to perfection.
         I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Downloading or Purevoluming this band just won't do them justice. The cover art for the album is amazing, the songs fit together perfectly, and the band deserves a record sale number higher than a UC Santa Cruz student on 4/20. I say buy this bad boy and find out for yourself if this record is the fiery melodic landscape I say it is.
R.S. '06