Transit - Joyride (Album Review)

Don't call them down and out just yet. Transit is back with Joyride. After releasing their last album, Young New England, the band was met with some tough criticism. There was a large portion of people who didn't like the album and felt it was a poor follow-up to Listen And Forgive. I, for one, enjoyed a lot of Young New England for the most part. It had some issues, but I felt a lot of those was minor. The band and their fan base was dealt another interesting wrinkle right after Joyride went up for pre-order as speculation started that long time member and fan favorite Tim Landers had left the group. It was then confirmed by Landers that he was out and that he would not appear on Joyride. Though it is speculated, quasi-confirmed, and believed he did write some parts of Joyride. The pre-order itself was odd in that it went up in two different places. Rise Records was delayed on putting their pre-order up causing some to wonder if they were even still on Rise. The pre-order stuff and Landers departure announcement all hit before fans had even heard a single song from Joyride. So with all the lofty expectations and worried thoughts about Landers departure one might wonder how good is Joyride?

First and foremost, I'll say this album is pretty darn good. I've always enjoyed Transit and I think some of the things people didn't like about Young New England have been fixed on Joyride. The production and mixing sound much much better. Joe Boynton's vocals sound good. I've heard some complain they didn't like his performance on Young New England. I think he performs closer to Listen And Forgive on this album. I'm not sure what Landers songwriting presence was for this album before his departure, but I can say his absence doesn't hurt the album like I thought it would. This is still a really enjoyable album even without some of Landers elements added. Torre Cioffi jumps right into the role of being the main guitarist nicely and the guitar work and background vocal work on the album sound pretty well done. The guitar work on the album just feels confident. I think if you are a fan of Transit then this album is going to make you smile. If you didn't like Young New England then you might especially like this because this really is a return to form and the band sounds energized on Joyride. They find a pretty nice balance of emo rock meets pop/punk on this album that I think works really well.

"Loneliness Burns" is a track that could stack up against anything you loved on their highly regarded Listen And Forgive. Lead single "Rest To Get Better" is a fun upbeat pop/rock tune that definitely gets stuck in my head. I really like the chorus of the song. The lyrics Boynton wrote for this album, as a whole, are really good. I find more than a few great lines of lyrics on this album that really stick out that I enjoy. "Summer Dust" is a great example of a song with lyrics I really like; the lyrics have a neat emotional value that almost reminds me of lyrics you would hear on a Dashboard Confessional album. Where Young New England felt a little more like a grower I think Joyride just instantly hits the listener with how good it is. The band sounds as fresh as they did in their glory days on this release.

Transit is back in a nice way on this album. I hope some of the fans put off by Young New England and Landers departure won't stray too far from the group because neither of those things hurt how good this album is. It really is a good Transit album. Yeah, it might not quite conquer the heights of Listen And Forgive in fans eyes, but I definitely believe it comes closer than Young New England. That's not to say that you might not find some new favorite Transit songs on this album. I know I can think of two or three that would make my favorite songs from this band list. Give this album a good solid chance. I think the band will show you they still have a lot left in the tank and can write some really good and cool music.

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