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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
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A warm, summer evening bestowed Hoover, Alabama on Wednesday night when the No. 4 Texas A&M Aggies faced the No. 15 Mississippi State Bulldogs...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Mix-matching styles makes for a mess

With so much music having already been written, it seems logical that many bands would try to blaze a new trail for themselves by blending genres and subgenres in innovative ways. But The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus may have gone a bit too far with this trend on their sophomore release, “The Lonely Road.”
Red Jumpsuit made their big debut with the album “Don’t You Fake It.” The chart-topping single from that album, “Face Down,” was largely responsible for the generally positive response the band received from listeners worldwide. Characterized by a mostly alternative rock sound, Red Jumpsuit can be compared to bands like Anberlin, Rise Against, Plain White T’s and Silverstein. At least, that is the niche that “Don’t You Fake It” carved out for the band.
“The Lonely Road” begins with “You Better Pray,” the band’s first single from the album. If the first track on any given CD can be regarded as an indicator of what to expect from the rest of the album, “You Better Pray” makes some pretty bold statements. To begin with, the song is a decided move away from the emo-tinged musical leanings of the band’s previous material. In its place is a no-nonsense southern rock sound that imitates bands like Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. Though Maylene’s music is far more aggressive, “You Better Pray” features many of the same chord progressions and instrumental arrangements.
The next three songs pull the band back into all-too-familiar territory. Leaving their new frontier, the band returns to the alt-rock sound that made them so popular in the first place. Songs like “Pen and Paper” and “Senioritis” sprinkle in a moderate dose of punk. “Represent” and “Step Right Up” recall the soaring melodies and pensive instrumentation of the band’s more recognized and established material.
But the guys of Red Jumpsuit must have had a southern rock itch to scratch. The album’s title track sounds like a strange cross between material from Collective Soul and Anberlin. As disparate a mix as that may sound, Red Jumpsuit jumps off into the ballad with a surprising dose of confidence. Consequently, the song emerges as a well formed and self-assured journey into musical territory traditionally reserved for artists like Bad Company and Joe Cocker. The song even features a pleasantly surprising appearance from a Gospel choir.
The tracks “Believe” and “Godspeed” are the most unique. The former features some optimistic stanzas accompanied by a 1950s era doo-wop cadence, and the latter is a surprisingly well-written – both lyrically and musically – song about a young soldier in 1970. The letter is written to the man’s wife and children. The song features some powerful string and choral arrangements, combat and ocean sound effects in addition to a stirring marching cadence from a methodic snare drum.
As an album, “The Lonely Road” opts to shift musical gears with each track rather than evenly mixing new genres into their music. As such, the album can be jarring at times. Though southern rock might not have been the best choice for this particular band to dabble in, they nonetheless display an unexpected amount of confidence. Consequently, the listener may find it difficult to not get on board with the band’s new direction. The album is one of precise moments, but those moments are strong enough to redeem the band from the few rough patches they come across on “The Lonely Road.”

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