I'm not going to waste these words about a band like The Academy Is...

The Academy Is... released their first album titled Almost Here in 2005, and I instantly fell in love. It was poppy (but not too poppy), it was cute, it was catchy, it was amazing!
Two long years later they finally followed up with Santi. It was fucked. At first listen I almost cried, it was completely different... rockier, edgier, crazier, just completely messed up! But the second time playing it through I was in love again. This love, however, wasn't as strong as it was the first time around and eventually it faded into a fondness which I revisited less and less for the next year and a half.
The release of their latest album, Fast Times at Barrington High, came as a surprise to me after eventually moving on and finding new loves to take up my time. But, like with any old flame who reinvents themselves, I was curious and I just had to hear it.
A minute into the first song I knew we were destined to be forever.
Once again the sound of the album has changed drastically from the last, but the change is for the better in every way. Combining the greatest ingredients from the first couple albums the boys have created a happy medium between the two and found their niche, and to put it lightly it works really well for them. Experimenting makes for perfect, and that's exactly what The Academy Is... accomplished with Fast Times at Barrington High.
This album is a little poppier and less emo than the first album, and at the same time less rock and roll than Santi and not nearly as heavy. They incorporated a lot more folk/indie tones and Beckett's voice lost some of the nasally whine and it comes through clear and beautiful, hitting higher ranges with impeccable control. The only downside I can see is through the guitars... not as rippin', softer and more upbeat without the distortion that filled the second album. Don't let that get you down though, this album shows the maturity of the band over the last three years, which is even reflected in the quality of the recording in the album.
More and more I hear similarities to Motion City Soundtrack, but still with the signature sound they established with Almost Here.
It's not often a band can pull off three completely different albums, starting with a sound that I loved so much, and keep me intrigued instead of pissed off that they messed with what worked so well in each release. But The Academy Is... not only kept me intrigued, but cemented their place in my heart for good.

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.