Alter The Press!


Album Review: Rookie of The Year - The Most Beautiful

'The Most Beautiful' marks Rookie Of The Year's fourth album release and sees the North Carolina songwriter go from standard acoustic-emo to something that incorporates more diverse instrumentation and a more polished, full sound.

Despite my natural feelings for the genre, opener 'Run Away' does manage to sway my heart a little as vocalist and songwriter Dunson whispers his way through atmospherics before a healthy helping of strings flesh out the character of the song, making it a surprisingly good listen. Sadly this is one of the very few highlights out of this album, while 'Turn The Page (100 Miles)' and 'Frustrated (Hurricane)' show his knack for pop hooks but end up lost in a dizzyingly bad choice if mixing. 'Bizarre Love Triangle' and 'Don't Tear Me Apart' don't even manage enough catchiness to excuse the constant whispering and multi-layering of the vocals.

Thankfully, 'Spinning Around' shows Dunson trying something a tad different, with a breath of fresh acoustic pace and a production that allows more space for Dunson's voice to carry the song while 'Take These Words' sees Erika Lauren's sweet voice add a nice feminine touch to one of the better songwriting efforts on the album.

Generally, when considering acoustic-emo, people would come to expect a certain level of lyrical quality which is virtually absent here. Paired with the debatable production decisions, the songs ultimately make for a less than average album. In fact, since I do have respect for bands such as Dashboard Confessional and Sam Little, I would try and separate these different artists by defining Rookie Of The Year of being more of a lullaby-emo variety. Advance at your own risk.


'The Most Beautiful' by Rookie of The Year is available now through Future Destination Records.

Rookie of The Year on MySpace, Twitter, Facebook and Purevolume.

Buy on iTunes.

James Berclaz-Lewis

Alter The Press!