Make the Most of It

rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Dream Born Again
02. Mouth To Mouth
03. Get Me Home
04. Watch The Lilies Grow
05. More Than Enough
06. Kiss The Floor
07. Bloom
08. Understatement
09. All Downhill From Here
10. Dressed To Kill
11. The Story So Far
12. Failures Not Flattering
13. My Friends Over You
14. Hit Or Miss

Creativity and inspiration often stem from hardship, and that's the basis for NEW FOUND GLORY's new album. The acoustic set, called "Make the Most of It", features several songs written following guitarist Chad Gilbert's cancer diagnosis, as well as unplugged versions of previously released NEW FOUND GLORY tracks.

In December 2021, following the band's Pop Punk's Still Not Dead Tour, Gilbert was discovered unresponsive at home. He was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with an eight-inch cancerous tumor. While Gilbert spent time between the hospital and home, undergoing several surgeries and treatment, he created this album.

NEW FOUND GLORY have been making pop-punk for more than two decades, and that experience and know-how is apparent on "Make the Most of It", the band's first proper acoustic set. The album kicks off with a microphone check of sorts, followed by singer Jordan Pundik launching into an earnest vocal about finding the kind of love that makes you regain the dreams you thought were lost and find the hope you thought was gone.

"Mouth to Mouth" follows with a warm, full guitar introduction and dark but sweet lyrics about walking through fire together and finding comfort in each other when life is grim. The song is a "thank you" for the CPR Gilbert's wife performed on him when she found him unresponsive. "Get Me Home" is another thank you, this time to the doctors who were able to get him healthy enough to hit the road in time to honor the 20th anniversary of NEW FOUND GLORY's "Sticks and Stones".

Elsewhere, "Make the Most of It" continues down that path of introspection, darkness and love. "Watch The Lilies Grow" is another love song, this time Pundik's penned a love song that could get you out of the doghouse if sent to a lover during a tiff. "Kiss the Floor" is about being appreciative for life, as he kisses the floor every time he wakes up in the morning.

Following the original songs are unplugged versions of NEW FOUND GLORY hits. Here, ubiquitous radio hits such as "The Story So Far" and "My Friends Over You" shine, offering a totally different take on these usually electrified, high-octane punk-pop tracks. Acoustic punk is underrated, but it worked for GREEN DAY with "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)",  so why not for NEW FOUND GLORY? The live audio features cheers and claps, adding a nice touch, too.

Fans of NEW FOUND GLORY will find lots to appreciate about this very personal album, a collection that conjures up emotion without getting too sappy. With its intimate lyrics and delicate delivery, "Make the Most of It" is one of NEW FOUND GLORY's most distinct records and stands out in a catalog of more homogeneous fare.

Author: Anne Erickson
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