After the dismal 2017 release ‘These are the Days’, I had pretty much given up on the band. Heck, on my Album Ranks for Lit…it was the Worst!! That album went too far to the country slant which a lot of rock bands have tried and few, if any have succeeded. Just ask Bon Jovi how well it went. That was not what I wanted to hear. I don’t know if the band heard my complaints or not, but with their new album ‘Tastes Like Gold’, they are back to the Southern California Rock sound despite the fact they are now in Nashville. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t be happier to have that sound back. They sat down with a whole host of writers which I don’t always like, but they were able to pull together a consistent album that was sonically Lit. I’ll take that.
This album for me was my favorite Summer album this year. Musically and lyrically, the album feels light, breezy, sunny and puts me in a great mood with each and every listen. The album painted a picture of driving down the road with the top down and the radio cranking. The beach on one side and glorious palm trees swaying back and forth on the other. The smell of the ocean in the air tickling your senses and putting a smile on your face. Sit back, drink your margaritas (stop driving at this point) and enjoy the fun in the sun.
From the opening party anthem of “Yeah Yeah Yeah” you know you are in for a good time as it is old school Lit all the way. Next is “Mouth Shut” which sees No Doubt drummer Adrian Young join in on the fun. Adrian helped fill in on drums on tour back in 2009 after the death of their longtime drummer Allen Shellenberger. The song is more party fun talking about how you always tend to say the wrong thing. The chorus is catchy as hell and will have you singing along right out of the gate. “Do It Again” has a powerful chorus that feels dramatic and gives a more modern vibe mixed with the old Lit.
“Kicked off the Plane” is an autobiographical song about them getting kicked off a plane for being…well..for being lit!! And no, it wasn’t because they refused to wear a mask!! It reminds me a little of “My Own Worst Enemy” and I mean that in a good way as it shares the same energy. Then we get the tender ballad “Ok With That” and one of my favorite tracks on the album. It is heartfelt and somber but so beautiful at the same time. He seems to be resound to the fact if it is the end of the world, he’s okay with it. It is nice to see the softer side of Lit. The first half ends with “The Life That I Got” featuring American Authors. This is a pure pop song and when they hit the chorus I swear it is “Midnight Memories” by One Direction. I’m torn if I’m okay with that.
The back half kicks off with “Get Out of My Song” and it keeps the party going with a massive drum beat and goes in to that easily sing-song chorus that makes it feel familiar as it is so catchy. Then the title track, “Tastes Like Gold”, has slowed down verses then goes to the bombastic chorus layered with keyboards and goes back and forth making a little predictable. Then with “Here’s to Another” we get an over the top pop song with a ton more keyboards and more of those sunny vibes we’ve been enjoying but overall a rather generic track.
“Hold That Thought” is more of an acoustic track reminiscent of the previous album, ‘These are the Days’, so they haven’t totally abandoned that sound. It is almost a ballad with that pop and country influence mixed together. You have to remember, I didn’t like that previous album so not a favorite song of mine for this one. They quickly redeem themselves with the explosive “Out of It”. This modern pop-rocker sees a more serious side of the band as the song feels more dramatic and impactful. Not a party song, but I’ll take a more modern serious sounding Lit too! The band goes out with a bang with help on vocals from the super-talented Butch Walker as they cover The Cars song “Let’s Go” and they nail it. On keys is Jason Freese who help capture that Cars “magic”. It is pure nostalgia sounding and even has the handclaps. It is a spot-on rendition that is pure excitement and joy. It makes you miss The Cars and love Lit at the same time. Great way to go out.
It is nice to see Lit redeem themselves after their last catastrophe. It is a reminder of how fun they can be and how exciting their sound is when they go old school. The first half of the album is stronger then the back half, but that Cars cover is the best. This for me was my Summer album as I mentioned at the beginning. A total blast and a great reminder of everything I loved about Lit. It is all right here. Go sit by the pool and crank this baby!! My Overall Score is a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars.