Falling in Reverse took to YouTube last year to stream their latest album, Just Like You. The elements that make Falling in Reverse fun to listen to are still there on this album: fun lyrics, awesome guitar, and melodies, along with passionate songs that actually mean something. But the band definitely has grown and developed in the short time that they’ve been around, and if you listen closely, Just Like You has a story to tell.
Falling in Reverse has never shied away from referencing real things and real problems in our society. That’s part of what’s made them great. Their latest album is no different. Just Like You tackles some pretty important issues in just one, twelve-track album. The major themes that they reference are drug addiction and grief – both of which are primarily based off of lead vocalist Ronnie Radke’s own life experiences. The first track, “Chemical Poison,” sets the tone for the entire album by telling about the struggle to successfully cope with addiction, even with urges and someone close to him dying (“I missed a phone call from a friend I knew the other day / It was strange and it changed my life forever / A couple days go by I found out that he passed away / The right drug wrong time he’ll be remembered”).
In between the emotional themes behind Just Like You, there are a lot songs that keep the album on its toes. “Sexy Drug” and “Just Like You” kept you on your toes and laughing. There’s no doubt that those will be the songs that every pop-punk kid will be dancing along to at Falling in Reverse concerts, while “God If You’re Above…” will no doubt be the emotional sing-along that gets the crowd roaring. The stand out song to me though was “Wait and See.” Lyrically, it was fantastic and honest, and instrumentally, it was one of the most unique songs on the album.
However, almost all of the songs have some sort of tie-in to the major themes of Just Like You, but the best tie-in comes at the end in the song “Brother.” Instead of heavy guitar and drums – which are the driving forces behind Just Like You for most of the album – the instrumentals change up and you’re introduced to a singular but beautiful piano and a soft melody. In the song, Radke softly sings about his brother, Anthony, who died in a car crash back in 2013. You can feel how Radke opens up and pours his heart and soul into every single note, which is part of what makes this song so touching.
In a few choice verses, he ties the whole album together, mentioning the phone call from his brother and singing how much he misses his brother. (“Now, no more calls / Can’t you see, I took for granted family /And once they’re gone, you’ll never get that back”). This song beautifully showcases Radke’s vocals and acts as the perfect ending chapter for Just Like You. When you end an album, you want to give your listeners the feeling that they listened to something important, something life-changing. “Brother” does exactly that for this album.
The major themes and tie-ins are what make this album spectacular for me. The whole album flows well and keeps your attention throughout so you’re never bored. Yes, you still have the fun lyrics that will hit pop-punk airwaves and will be danced along to at their concerts. But in addition to that, you have some pretty beautiful and meaningful lyrics that tackle with some pretty important and difficult things. That’s what makes the story Just Like You has to tell worth listening to.