Valencia, a pop punk group from Philadelphia, is back with a strong sophomore album — and their major label debut — We All Need a Reason to Believe. This album is chock full of radio friendly songs about moving on while looking back on the past and then having to accept the changes.
You’d better be prepared to have album opener “Better Be Prepared” stuck in your head as the group’s catchiness starts right away. The following track, “Holiday” slows things down, but still is hook heavy. The album title comes from this song’s lyrics. Another song that is ridiculously catch and would be a killer pick for radio is “Listen Up,” which features vocals by fellow Philadelphian Kenny Vasoli of Person L and The Starting Line.
The tempo changes are enough reason to check out this album and they are especially interesting on “Where Did You Go?” and “All At Once.” Also, “All At Once” does this cool thing where singer Shane Henderson‘s vocals drop at the end of each phrase both in pitch and volume only to come back higher and stronger to connect to the next line, often repeating the same word that ended the last phrase.
“The Good Life” sticks out as a must hear song because Brendan Walter‘s guitar riffs give it country flair. It’s something different when so many of the other tracks use the same style and technique. The band has a tendency to cut back to the vocals and just one instrument near the end of a song and then have full band reenter with full force. As much as I am a sucker for this, moderation is key and they do it on nearly every song.
Valencia’s We All Need a Reason to Believe is released by Columbia Records on August 26, 2008.
01. Better Be Prepared
03. Where Did You Go?
04. Head in Hands
05. Carry On
06. All At Once
07. Safe to Say
08. Listen Up
09. I Can’t See Myself
10. The Good Life
Written by: Bethany