It’s a rare feat to equally fill listeners with hope and indifference. But with their 2005 album, Commit This To Memory, the members of Motion City Soundtrack concocted a musical journey just as unpredictable and sporadic as everyday life, honing in on the difficulty of facing defeat, facing inner demons and imploding relationships. The sophomore effort, produced by Blink-182 bassist and music junkie Mark Hoppus, featured snippets of the fun, peppy pop-rock/electro sound and poignant lyrics the five-piece became known for. The better-known aspect of the album, however, is the track that officially brought Motion City Soundtrack to the mainstream—“Everything Is Alright.”
Although the song is not the epitome of edginess and obscurity—it was featured in the Zac Efron film 17 Again and the college rom-com Accepted, after all—six years later, and it still has a resounding hope and earnestness that simply cannot be ignored. In fact, that is the primary characteristic that makes Commit This To Memory such a memorable and lovable work. Justin Pierre (lead vocals/guitar), Josh Cain (guitar/backing vocals), Jesse Johnson (keyboard/synths), Matt Taylor (bass), and Tony Thaxton (drums/percussion), effortlessly pieced together a 12-track opus that highlights the insecurities of the human race with such authenticity, from feeling incomplete (“Attractive Today”), to dealing with heartbreak (“Resolution” and “Hold Me Down”), and addictive behavior (“L.G. FUAD”). Sprinkled with lyrically gut-wrenching yet musically uplifting tracks that can easily induce segments of pogo dancing, the album also features vocal appearances from a number of pop-rock hall-of-famers including Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump and Hoppus himself.
Despite the blatantly hopeless tone of the album, it also generates a twisted form of encouragement. An odd type of negative reinforcement that leads by example, urging listeners to pick themselves up, and move onward and upward. Based around the frigidness of winter, the album progresses into the hope of the New Year, where all we can do is make a few resolutions, hope for the best, and commit it all to memory.