Comments: When Lifetime broke up in 1997, they stepped away at the top of their game. Lifetime gained cult status in the early 90s with their positive and uplifting lyrics, which was in stark contrast with other hardcore acts of the 90s. Throughout the decade, Lifetime moved away from the hardcore scene, focusing more on pop punk, but keeping their music energized, upbeat, and tight as hell. 10 years later, New Jersey’s best dancers are back to remind you that, yes, it is going to be alright. And they are going to do it by punching you in the face.
A lot of albums can be described as a blast, but this is one that actually backs it up. The entire self titled album clocks in at just under 25 minutes, but more gets done in that time than some bands can do in an entire double album. The album opens up with “Northbound Breakdown” which sets the pace of the record, which is fast. Despite the 10 year break, Lifetime sounds tight as they ever did; they never miss a beat, even at their breakneck pace. This record is pure pop punk, full of songs about breaking hearts, being heart broken, girls who love boys, and boys who love girls. However, unlike the current emo acts, which seem to only paint bloody pictures of girls violently ripping out the innocent hearts of guys with bad hair cuts, Lifetime prefer to imagine a world where the boy gets the girl, and everyone goes home happy.
With an album this fast and tight, it’s sometimes hard to pick standout tracks. However, there are some songs on here that seem to stand a cut above the rest. Besides the aforementioned “Northbound Breakdown”, “Just a Quiet Evening”, “Haircuts and T-Shirts” and “Yeems Song for Nothing” sound good not just in the context of the album, but as stand alone tracks.
The album isn’t without its flaws; any record that goes as fast as this one runs the risk of becoming repetitive and just sounding like one big long song. This happens a little bit toward the end of the record. And as it plays, I can see how some might want one slow track, just for a break. Lifetime could benefit from at least one break in stride. However, to their credit, Lifetime sticks to the only speed they know, and that speed is “ROCK!”. The only noticeably weak track on the record is the mercifully short “Song for Mel”. By the time the record is over, you’ll just want to listen to it one more time.
The real triumph of this record his how the band is able to walk away and come back a “lifetime” later (ba bud bum) and pick up right where they left off. There is no rust, no kinks, and no growing pains. They’ve matured, but they are able to let that maturity work for them and help them sound as fresh as ever. Lifetime by Lifetime is as good a pop punk record as any, but it’s not really universal. Fans of pop punk would do well to pick this up, but the general speed at which the album is played can be off-putting for casual fans.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Key Tracks: Northbound Breakdown, Yeems Song for Nothing, Just a Quiet Evening
Worth The Money: Yes
NOTE: There's gonna be a new scheduel for reviews here at Left of The Dial. It's gonna go like this. Every Thursday, Sunday, and Tuesday, there will be new updates. So....check them out, if you want to, I-I guess.
Lineup for this week is as follows:
Thursday: Yoko Ono
Sunday: Smoke or Fire
Tuesday: Do Make Say Think