Album Review :
Young Poet - Thrive in a Modern Era

By in Reviews | 12 Comments

Label: Independent
Release Date: November 28, 2017


  1. Alizaren
  2. Better Hearts
  3. Take: Two
  4. Thriving
  5. Hey Cousin! Let’s Go Bowling! ft. Christian Fisher
  6. Over My Dead Body
  7. Stretch Armstrong ft. Brendan Frey
  8. Meaningless to You
  9. Ages (Interlude)
  10. Oh, Nostalgia

Punk rock and pizza are similar in more ways than one. While the two can complement each other quite well, music – like food – requires a recipe. Unfortunately, Young Poet’s Thrive in a Modern Era tastes more like a dubious experiment than a well-made pizza pie.

Opening song “Alizaren,” catches me completely by surprise with the spoken word akin to Being As An Ocean or Listener. I thought this was pop punk? Once “Better Hearts” comes on, I find out that it is … at least, for the most part, in retrospect. Like many of the songs on the album, this track switches between pop punk and easycore. There is nothing wrong in itself about this, but I wonder if this genre-blending lends itself to some inconsistency? In this particular case, the lead guitar that comes in at 1:51 just feels out of place and unnecessary. “Thriving” suffers from a similar problem, having a pre-chorus that almost sounds like the chorus and a chorus that falls short of its potential.

If I could pin down the two main problems with Thrive in a Modern Era, I would include the use of auto-tune and the song structures. Regarding the former, I think the effect should be saved for radio rappers and their ilk. Regarding the latter, on numerous songs I found myself distracted by the structure (for instance, “Meaningless to You” wears out its welcome with the song length), something that should appear “natural” even though it is crafted with careful intent.

That being said, the record does have its qualities. Generally, the choruses are catchy, which is essential for pop punk. Specifically, “Over My Dead Body” boasts some fast and tasty drums as well as clever lyrics like “I’m a walking dictionary of genre-bending clichés. / You’re a negative apothecary / what with the false hope you’re selling.” This is easily the best song on the album.

I think Thrive… could have been better had the recipe been simplified. Scrap the auto-tune, simplify the structures, and perhaps remove a few breakdowns. There is nothing wrong with pepperoni; there is nothing wrong with plain pop punk.

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Nolan Giesbrecht
Nolan Giesbrecht
February 28, 2018 8:18 am

Well, the diversity in opinion here is going to get me to check out this album…

February 23, 2018 8:52 am

Honestly, from a website that gives more 5/5 album reviews than AltPress, this is a lame review, Graham. Young Poet has literally transcended pop-punk in a way that escapes mere casual listeners and no one would expect an earthling like yourself to get it. I hope one day your keystrokes will make a harmonious melody that my people will stomp on and insult – especially if you used autotune to mask how many times you hit the backspace button. In closing, I rate my comment as 5/5 since I used zero cliche’s, didn’t reference pizza, or make the asinine claim… Read more »

February 22, 2018 1:33 pm

Well done review but I love what I’m hearing!

February 21, 2018 8:16 am

There isn’t any auto-tune on this album whatsoever, coming from someone who knows the recording guy. Dudes just a great singer with a sick vibrato.

February 21, 2018 8:11 am

I definitely think the 2/5 rating was way too harsh. This is a bands first album done completely by themselves, and distributed themselves. For what it is, I was so blown away. I honestly didn’t even notice the auto tune, and I thought the structure was incredible for who they are. You’re judging a band by the levels you would a well seasoned professional group, while not giving credit where it’s due. Tone it down a smidge.

February 21, 2018 7:45 am

Hey Graham! I’m Seth, singer/writer for young poet. I wanna start by thanking you for an in depth review of my bands album! It’s our first full length and we are definitely experimenters with sound. I’m sad not all our choices hit your ears in a good way, but it seems like you took your time to figure out why and stated it in a way that really helps me learn. Hopefully you’ll like the next one more!

Brandon J.
February 21, 2018 1:53 pm
Reply to  Seth

Seth- I personally love the album and it hits me close to heart in a good way. Solid music and a great full length debut

Graham Wall
March 3, 2018 9:55 am
Reply to  Seth

Thanks for reading, Seth, and for being receptive to the mixed remarks! I’ll be sure to check out the next offering. 🙂

February 15, 2018 5:43 am

The 2 rating was harsh indeed and these guys do have a cool sound that I look forward to hearing more of on another album. Keep up the easy core jams guys

Brandon J.
February 15, 2018 8:15 pm
Reply to  Stevo

This album rules and I fully support them

Phil Courtney
Phil Courtney
February 14, 2018 8:36 am

I have listened to this album multiple times since IVM recommended it a little while back. I find it incredibly enjoyable and worth the repeat listen. Is it perfect? No. But that’s the beauty of pop punk, it doesn’t have to be. I will start with the negatives. First off, there was a glaring mistake made, and one I agree with the reviewer on. The intro track should not exist. It doesn’t set up the album, unless the intent was to confuse or misdirect you and then surprise you with the building easycore intro of Better Hearts (track 2). I… Read more »

February 21, 2018 7:49 am
Reply to  Phil Courtney

Thank you Phil! I’m the singer in the band, I appreciate you taking the time! Alizaren was definitely meant to kind of ease you into the mood, kind of like a palette cleanser to let better hearts kick the door in. A big part of why we started the band was to try new things, but we understand not all experiments work. Thanks for all the kind words though! I really appreciate it.

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