If Only You Were Lonely [Alternate Cover]
With the breakout success of Hawthorne Heights' 2004 debut, The Silence in Black and White, the little screamo band that could from Dayton, OH, could have easily taken the formulaic approach with its sophomore album. Instead, this rising new rock outfit does everything it can to broaden its scope on If Only You Were Lonely. One need look no further than the hushed, piano-steered closing number, "Decembers," which echoes both the Beach Boys and Death Cab for Cutie. That somber highlight aside, Hawthorne Heights haven't exactly ditched their calling card, as exhibited by the infectious, self-deprecating heartbreak anthem "We Are So Last Year" and "Pens and Needles," a bold, capable punk-pop nugget with serious devotional issues. The outfit's three-axe attack coupled with the distinctive pipes of J.T. Woodruff find Hawthorne Heights able to go where peers like Fall Out Boy just can't. Be it the downright winsome lilt of "Saying Sorry" or the riotous punk of "This Is Who We Are" -- painted with blood-curdling screams -- the group manages to walk the fine line between art and its aspirations of world domination with its credibility in check.