Sleeping With Sirens


Who says you can’t please everyone? Oh, yeah: the internet. If Sleeping With Sirens are guilty of anything on their fourth album, it’s trying to unite various musical tribes (polished pop, post-hardcore, acoustic whimsy) under one all-encompassing banner. They’ve attempted this before on 2013’s Feel, but on Madness, it’s obvious they’re all in and not making empty gestures. With producer John Feldmann at the controls, every foray into high-gloss, cell-phone-waving anthemic pop (“Left Alone,” “Save Me A Spark,” “Gold”) is more grandiose. Gear gets broken during moments of raucous, amps-to-11 craziness (“Kick Me,” “We Like It Loud”), and the band got even more cuddly when unplugged (“Madness,” “The Strays”). The high point? “Fly,”  with its high-altitude vocal melody and hefty ’80s swagger, the track is the best song Paramore forgot to write for their last album. Madness successfully articulates where the band’s headspace is right now; SWS put the time in and came out poised for greater things.