@Cantankersaurus Dude, this is an epic review. Before I acknowledge any of the feedback, firstly I'd like to thank you for taking the time to listen and give me your thoughts on it. Honest reviews are the best, and it's great to hear an honest review from someone on the blink boards.
1. Colors of Summer - I fucking love Yellowcard, so this to me is a great compliment. The intro / riff is something I wanted to make "fun" and "rockin". The song kind of touches on one of my internal demons, how I often feel the best summers of my life has come and gone, and how I'd love to re-live one of them. Thats why the 1st verse comes back on during the end of the song. I guess I've always pictured our lives to be like a canvas, and it's up to us to paint it, though while we paint the picture, some things are out of our control. But the big thing to me with this song was I wanted it to be fun, nostalgic, and feel like one of those songs that would last forever.
2. Chasing Time - Pretty cool that you brought up Jimmy Eat World on this one, as this song is about the last time I saw JEW live in Sacramento. My friend and I took Amtrak up from Oakland to the show, and half way through Jimmy's set we realized if we didn't leave right then that we'd miss the last train home. We both said fuck it, and decided to stay for their full set, and jesus was it the right decision. Sweetness has always been one of those songs that just speaks to me, and when they closed with it I was just caught up in this moment with myself and the song. It was tough to find the right verse to fit in with the chorus, and I'm not sure it was the perfect fit, though I guess it kind of fits the lyrics. This was one of the songs that I wanted the listener to feel bummed when it ended - like, "damn, I want this to keep going". Not sure if you got that feeling with that outro, but still a cool review of it.
3. Wanderlust - This was the last song I wrote and recorded for the album, and I had so much to say in only a couple verses and a chorus. With all the shit happening in the USA right now, it just pisses me off to high hell how people can judge or speak so poorly on a topic they have never experienced for themselves - they're literally just taking someone else's word as truth. I guess we're all guilty of it, though it's been something I have told myself this year "I will not be one to judge a country or a topic without experiencing it for myself". Both my girlfriend and I love to travel internationally, and last year we spent time in the Middle East, mostly Egypt. It was a fucking amazing time, full of amazing people, food, culture, etc. After we came back I had to deal with some older conservative people saying things like "Why would you ever go to a shit hole like that?" and it fucking drove me crazy. Anyway, the song is about just that - not judging places / people without having my own experience, and how it ties into my love to travel with my girlfriend. Both her and I are born and raised in California, and traveling along with music is everything to both of us. I wanted this song to embody that feeling. I wanted it to be beautiful, and unpredictable.
4. Tonight - I appreciate what you had to say about this one, because I felt like that for a long time. Writing "chill" slow songs hasn't ever been my thing, but I knew this one had to slow down and be a little different, which was tough for me. Lyrically I think it works, though musically, I can see why you'd say the arrangement could be better.
5. Summer Song - This is probably the only review you gave where I didn't quite understand it. To me, this was meant to be a song to define a summer road trip or a spontaneous weekend getaway. My group of friends and I went on a spontaneous weekend getaway down to Monterey (California) and had the windows down, playing rock n roll, enjoying the ocean air and just having a good time, and when we got back I wrote this song to embody that. I wrote this one the way I wrote most the other ones - picked up the acoustic and started strumming and mumbling words together. Before the final chorus, I kept singing "we had it good, we had it good, we had it good" in it's place. Sounded way too repetitive though.
6. Highway 101 - So far this seems to be the crowd favorite on the record, which to me has been a bit surprising. I was going into the studio to record "Tonight" and was having a lot of trouble putting it together. I was having trouble sleeping, so early in the morning I got up and started playing guitar and came up with Highway 101. There was a lot of angst, mostly because I was frustrated about not being able to put the pieces of "Tonight" together. In fact, the line "I hope we spend more time on saying less goodbyes" was a play on my frustration with "Tonight", as the chorus on Tonight starts with "Goodbye! We're saying our goodbyes". This was another song where I just wanted the chorus to be catchy and fun - one of those hooks that gets stuck in your head. Hearing that it felt like a pre-chorus to you is not what I was going for. I'm kind of bummed this one never did it for you.
7. Lost & Found - This was the first song on the album I wrote and recorded, and to me, set the bar of the direction the whole thing should sound and feel. I'm real glad you liked this one, as it's near and dear to my heart. I know exactly what you mean by "I would have loved the chords and strumming to open up", because I felt that too. Thats where the bridge came in, and then once more in the outro - hard strumming with those lyrics "you're like a song thats rockin strong, so please lets turn my guitar up". I just wanted it to really rock here, and am real happy to hear you enjoyed it.
8. Learn to Say Goodbye - This song sounded way better in my head than it actually is. I don't think it's bad - it ends up being a nice change of pace I think.
9. Oakland - When blink put California out I was a little bummed they didn't mention or sing about Northern California at all. It was sometime after that I started working on this one, as I wanted to make sure to shoutout the Northern part of the state (where I'm from and live). I thought it would be cool to compare a city to a girl, similarly to being in love with a girl, you could be in love with a city. It's kind of funny, but the "somewhere off Broadway" line of the chorus is referring to my favorite local beer spot, called "Beer Revolution". When I first visited Beer Revolution, I told my friends I liked the spot a lot, but I already knew I loved it. This is where the line (which you're right about by the way) came from "the only lie I told you was that I liked you when I already loved you". Despite the clunkiness, I'm glad you liked this one - it was meant to be fun as fuck, and to shed some light on the good parts of Oakland (most of Oakland is awesome).
10. Find Yourself - This is definitely the most unusual song on the album, but I wanted it to be a little different, and have some good meaning to it. Some of my friends don't quite get this one, almost like it's 2 different songs in one. It was kind of my take on "it's ok to be different". Obviously the song is about finding yourself, and embracing the things in your life you normally wouldn't, so the song being very unusual was meant to help symbolize that. Glad to hear you appreciated the ending. The last words of the record reflect all 42 minutes of the album, "dream in all the colors of summer". It's meant to tie everything together, the canvas, the colors, the being young thing, the finding yourself thing, the having a good time thing - all of it.
Again, thanks for the fantastic review. Writing, recording and playing music has been my passion as long as I can remember, and it really is awesome to send these songs out to the world and get positive feedback, especially from people on the blink boards.