Alli With An I – I Learned It By Watching You (CD)

Alli With An I is an example of what would happen if bands like All American Rejects or Taking Back Sunday had something called talent. Two-part harmonies happen in all parts of AWAI’s music, whether it be in the most obvious of places (vocals), or even with extremely complimentary guitars or even bass/drum lines. Tom and Matt’s vocals work perfectly in what is now being called screamo, and to my surprise, the vocals are at equal level with the technical skill exhibited on the disc. For example, the bass continually makes its presence known, specifically in weaving itself audibly through a great number of tracks on “I Learned It By Watching You”. While each track works off the same common formula, Alli With An I is talented enough to spin and bend each track into its entirely own thing – pop-punk elements may be in all of their music, but that does not deem them irrelevant to today’s lifeline in music.

“Merry Go Round” sounds like “Adam’s Song” in its opening, but quickly drops the melodramatic overtones in a looking-forward type of song, incorporating Alli With An I’s special two-part harmony to drive the song to its unchangeable end. Don’t get me wrong, some of the ways that AWAI presents their songs are beyond cheesy – for example, take “Letting Go”, which begins with the lines: “I’ve got a box of your old love letters. They smell like your perfume.” The emotions that are expressed in a song like this are totally valid, but they seem a tad melodramatic framed in such a way. The distorted guitar lines that litter most of the CD add a high amount of chaos to any song that they are located in, but the effect is mainly caused by the distortion – these lines are solid, baby!

Alli With An I has the talent, sound, drive, and determination to become even bigger than they are at this current juncture. A number of these songs are inculcated in the past indie and emo movements of yesteryear instead of being visibly disconnected from any of the line of influences. What can I find at fault on this disc? Well, it is pretty short for a full length – but that is probably just because I enjoyed the disc so much. AWAI is a great example of a band that can work successfully in a paradigm that many individuals would call too constrictive. The poppy-emo (“screamo” ) that AWAI plays has been done to death by a number of talentless bands, but “I Learned It By Watching You” is a revolutionary album, just like Green Day’s “Slapped Out Happy Albums” was to in constructing OC pop-punk that lasts to this very day.

Rating : 6.5/10

Top Tracks : For Future Reference, Absolutely Impossible

Alli With An I – I Learned It By Watching You / 11 Tracks / 2003 Law of Intertia Records / / /

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