The Young and the Restless: Taking Back Sunday courts teens and twentysomethings with New Again.

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After seven years and two previous records, Taking Back Sunday finally discovered how to distill adolescent anxiety with 2006’s Louder Now. The album was a perfect combination of alienation (“What’s It Feel Like to Be a Ghost?”), the personal as political (“Liar”), and anomie (the hook-rich domestic violence saga “MakeDamnSure”), all weaved together with a sinewy sentiment as real and sound to the melancholic suburban teenager as gravity. The album has sold close to 1 million copies. But right around the time the band announced it was recording a follow-up, lead guitarist and backup singer Fred Mascherino, the genius behind the meticulously layered guitar melodies and angsty climaxes on Louder Now and 2004’s Where You Want to Be, left the band, citing infighting. The remaining members, led by vocalist Adam Lazzara, tried to downplay Mascherino’s departure by announcing on their MySpace blog, “The next album will be a bit different but each one of our albums are [sic] a bit different. It is still going to be a Taking Back Sunday record.” The message revealed the band’s core problem, one that plays out in full on their latest, New Again: Taking Back Sunday can no longer take the teens for granted, yet it needs to keep its earliest fans, who are now in their mid-to-late 20s. Magically, New Again casts a net that’s just wide enough to appeal to both demographics. Listeners who remember former guitarist John Nolan’s feud with Brand New’s Jesse Lacey will appreciate Lazzara’s public shaming of Mascherino on “Summer, Man.” And radio-savvy youngsters will like Mascherino’s replacement, Matt Fazzi, whose ham-fisted riffing on alt-rock tracks like “Catholic Knees” and “Lonely, Lonely” wouldn’t sound out of place on a Shinedown album. Of the 11 songs on New Again, more than half will likely meet with approval from the band’s older fans. A bass drum and fuzzy bass guitar drive the title track at a fast clip to a wide-open and lush chorus. “Where My Mouth Is,” which would’ve played in the background of a high school breakup on an older album, is written for listeners with credit card debt and their own apartments; ditto “Everything Must Go,” on which Lazzara sings about a significant other who ruins a perfectly good domestic situation (“hardwood floors!”) by browbeating her significant other. “Cut Me Up Jenny,” on the other hand, is classic Hot Topic emo: “Cut me up Jenny/Cut me up gently/I took full advantage of being taken for advantage/I took what I could get/Eventually I took the place of love.” Taking Back Sunday won’t be able to hang onto its senior listeners forever, but New Again will keep them around for at least one more summer tour.