Album Review: Mayday Parade’s ‘Sunnyland’

The wait is over for Mayday Parade fans as the band steps back into the pop-punk scene with the release of their sixth studio album, “Sunnyland.”

The album debuted on June 15 and marked the end of a long three-year wait for many of the band’s faithful listeners.  The release was a sigh of relief that the band was not finished making music, especially for listeners, like myself, who didn’t receive the band’s preceding album, “Black Lines,” with open arms.

“Black Lines” was a changed impression of Mayday Parade as we knew it, with their pretty sudden shift toward a heavier emo sound. “Sunnyland,” reminds fans, the older ones especially, that Mayday Parade has not forgotten their original sound, made evident by the incredibly nostalgic feeling present in many of the tracks.

The opening track, “Never Sure,” makes this clear as it opens with the driving, instrumental feature before lead singer, Derek Sanders, comes in with the opening verse, which builds up to the headbanger chorus.

Committed fans know that no album of Mayday Parade is complete without a long title of nonsensical meaning, and the band acknowledges this essential characteristic early on with the second track “It’s Hard to Be Religious When Certain People Are Never Incinerated By Bolts of Lightning.”

Although most of the album is better listened to on your feet and dancing rather than snuggled up in bed, the band breaks up the pop-punk vibe with acoustic tracks including “Take My Breath Away,” “Where You Are” and the title track “Sunnyland.”

This album does play it pretty safe musically, which is both a blessing and a curse. The album consists mostly of the mid-intensity, pop-punk sound, with a few acoustic tracks sprinkled throughout, exactly like most of its preceding albums. While the original Mayday Parade sound is something I will always enjoy, I think with the weaker reception of “Black Lines,” the band was left too afraid to take even the slightest creative risks.

Speaking to the lyrical content of the album, the band is once again too afraid to take risks. Mayday Parade has fixated on writing on the subject of hopeless romanticism and lost or unrequited love. This is certainly a relevant topic for the popular age of their fanbase, but it is also predictable and routine for a band that has just released their sixth studio album.

Despite these drawbacks, I am still very excited about this release and especially look forward to their live performances of the new music this summer when they’re on Warped Tour.

While many bands as old as Mayday Parade have certainly evolved and explored new avenues of sound to keep themselves in the business, it is impressive that Mayday Parade is able to keep close to their roots and still do an acceptable job of it. Some may dismiss the idea of a band refusing to deviate from their debut musical identity, but I think there’s something heartwarming about staying true to their roots to hope for a more nostalgic musical experience.


Lucille Littlefield is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at lucille.littlefield@uconn.edu.