Leaving Through the Window

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Leaving Through the Window
Something Corporate-Leaving THrough The Window.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 21, 2002
RecordedJanuary–March 2002
Studio
Genre
Length57:35
LabelDrive-Thru, MCA
ProducerJim Wirt
Something Corporate chronology
Audioboxer
(2001)
Leaving Through the Window
(2002)
North
(2003)
Singles from Leaving Through the Window
  1. "Punk Rock Princess"
    Released: March 17, 2003
  2. "If You C Jordan"
    Released: March 31, 2003

Leaving Through the Window is the second studio album and the major-label debut by rock band Something Corporate. Following the success of the Drive-Thru Records-released Audioboxer EP, the band signed to Drive-Thru's distributor MCA Records in late 2001 after the EP caught their attention. Frequent touring for the rest of the year led into the three-month recording process for Leaving Through the Window in early 2002. Sessions took place at studios across California and Florida, with Jim Wirt acting as producer. A few songs from previous releases were re-recorded for inclusion on the album; the material was anywhere from three months to three years old. A music video was made for "If You C Jordan" in early 2002; the group then embarked on a three-month long US tour.

After the tour, Leaving Through the Window was released jointly by Drive-Thru and MCA Records on May 21. The subsequent UK release included tracks from Audioboxer as bonus tracks. The band performed on the Warped Tour and supported New Found Glory on their European tour between June and September. The group finished the year with another support slot for New Found Glory, this time for a two-month US tour. The band released a DVD single that featured music videos for "I Woke Up in a Car" and "If You C Jordan". They co-headlined a three-month US tour with the Juliana Theory, which coincided with the release of a music video for "Punk Rock Princess". It was released as a UK single in early March and was promoted with a tour there; at the end of the month, "If You C Jordan" was released as a single.

Leaving Through the Window sold 12,000 copies in its first week, charting at number 101 on the Billboard 200 chart in the process. It appeared on another Billboard chart, Heatseekers Albums, where it reached number one. "Punk Rock Princess" and "If You C Jordan" had some success: "If You C Jordan" charted at number 29 on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart and number 68 in the UK; "Punk Rock Princess" charted only in the UK at number 33. As of mid-2005, the album's sales stood at 291,000 copies. The record received a mixed reception from critics, with comments on its length and frontman Andrew McMahon's vocals.

Background[edit]

Something Corporate's debut album Ready... Break was released through a local concert venue[1] in November 2000.[2] Before vocalist/pianist Andrew McMahon's final year of high school,[3] guitarists Josh Partington and Reuben Hernandez left for college.[4] Eventually, the two flew back to play gigs.[3] The group met to discuss their commitment to the band; a portion of their day-job wages was being used to help fund the group.[5] Hernandez left the group to continue his studies and was replaced by William Tell.[4] After finalizing their line-up, the group began performing at local venues, eventually gaining support slots for bands like Better Than Ezra and Sugar Ray.[6] Shortly afterwards, a number of record labels showed an interest in signing the group.[1] House of Blues representative Sean Striegel suggested to independent label Drive-Thru Records that they check out the band[5] while they were in the process of recording the Audioboxer EP in June 2001.[7]

Representatives from the label,[5] who saw the group's crossover potential,[1] visited McMahon's home for a performance in his garage. They stayed for over an hour and a half as the group performed a full set, compared to the 20-minute sets that other labels wanted them to play.[5] The following month,[8] the band signed to Drive-Thru Records;[1] one of the reasons being the label liked their ballads.[5] Drive-Thru wanted a minor release to introduce the band,[9] leading to the release of Audioboxer in October.[10] KROQ came across the EP and began playing the track "If You C Jordan".[11] later that month.[10] The EP soon caught the attention of major label MCA Records,[12] which had a distribution deal with Drive-Thru[13] that allowed MCA to upstream bands from them.[14] Throughout November, the group toured the California coast, the Midwest and southern states of the US with Reel Big Fish, Sugarcult, Lucky Boys Confusion, River City High, and The Ridlin Kids.[15] Touring continued into December, with the group visiting the east coast.[16]

Production[edit]

Pre-production began for Leaving Through the Window on Boxing Day 2001 and wrapped up in early January 2002.[17] Main recording took place between January[18] and March[19] at various studios across the US: Cello Studios in Hollywood, California; 4th Street Recording in Santa Monica, California; South Beach Studios in Miami Beach, Florida; and Jungle Room Studios in Glendale, California. Jim Wirt produced and engineered all the sessions, with additional engineering by Mike Fraser. "Globes & Maps" was engineered by Brian Reeves. PJ Smith, Alan Sanderson and Joel Ausbrooks served as additional engineers. CJ Eiriksson and Patrick Shevelin acted as Pro-Tools engineers. Smith provided background vocals on "Punk Rock Princess", "I Woke Up in a Car", "The Astronaut", "Hurricane", "Straw Dog", "Drunk Girl" and "Not What It Seems".

Strings were engineered by Steve Churchyard with assistance from Robert Read. Session musician Patrick Warren contributed chamberlin and organ to "Globes & Maps".[20] "Punk Rock Princess" and "Hurricane", both of which featured on the Audioboxer EP, were re-recorded for the album as the group wanted to be "happier with their execution", according to McMahon.[19] Three tracks—"Cavanaugh Park", "Straw Dog" and "Drunk Girl"—from Ready... Break were also re-recorded for the album. On two separate occasions, the piano was tracked in half-time to give it a different sound.[21] Mixing was done by Tom Lord-Alge[20] in April,[19] before being mastered by Stephen Marcussen at Marcussen Mastering in Hollywood.[20]

Composition[edit]

All of the songs on Leaving Through the Window were written by McMahon, with the exception of "Hurricane", "Fall" and "You're Gone" which were written by Josh Partington.[20] McMahon found it easier coming up with arrangements on the piano, rather than a guitar, as it seemed a better instrument with which to expand song structures. The band spent the time required to get the right sound balance between McMahon's piano, and Partington and Tell's guitars. McMahon reasoned that instruments needed to be at the right place in a song's arrangement so they could be "both felt and heard."[21] "Punk Rock Princess", "Cavanaugh Park", "Straw Dog" and "Globes & Maps" feature string arrangements written by Paul Buckmaster who conducted the 26-piece orchestra that performed them.[22][23] Partington described the album as a "conglomeration of songs that were anywhere from three months to three years old ... like a greatest hits of our early stuff."[24] Musically, the album has been classified as alternative rock,[25] pop punk[26] and power pop.[27][28] It has been compared to works by bands like Jimmy Eat World, Cheap Trick,[25] Lit,[27] and New Found Glory.[29][30] Discussing "Punk Rock Princess", McMahon said he was interested in a girl who liked punk rock music while he was in high school. The song served as a metaphor for what was a frequent discrepancy between the pair, which McMahon described: "She was cooler than I was and she liked punk and I was this, like, squirrely kid in, like, a piano band."[31]

"I Woke Up in a Car" was written after the first Something Corporate tour. A day or two after it ended, McMahon sat in his parents' garage, where his piano was situated and wrote the song around his memories of the tour.[32] "If You C Jordan" was written during McMahon's last year in high school,[3] after a guy named Jordan wanted to fight with him over a girl.[33] It is about being bullied and using words to fight back.[34] The track was not initially planned for release on the album and was meant to appear solely on the Audioboxer EP. It and "If I Were a Terrorist, I'd Bomb the Graduation", were written during the same period in 6/8 time. The band preferred that "Terrorist" and "Jordan" be included on the EP as an introduction to their music. However, "Terrorist" was left off the album because of the September 11 attacks; the group thought it would be in bad taste to use it.[33] "The Astronaut" was written in the midst of the album's recording sessions while Tom Petty was working in the next room.[35] "Hurricane" is credited to Partington,[20] with McMahon contributing three words.[36] When Partington played the track for the band at practice, McMahon was enthusiastic about it.[37] McMahon wrote "Cavanaugh Park" while he was 16 or 17;[38] it was named after a recreational area in Lake Forest, California.[39] The park serves as a benchmark for incidents while growing up, like hanging out with friends and getting into trouble.[40]

Release[edit]

While recording was nearly completed, "If You C Jordan" was gaining traction at popular alternative radio stations.[18] In early February, a music video was filmed for the track. It was directed by Richard Reines, who co-founded Drive-Thru Records and filmed over two 14-hour days. It opens with Chris Owen, who acts as Jordan the bully showing up to high school in a Porsche. The band takes musical equipment from the choir room and starts performing in the hallway. It concludes with them hanging out with Summer Altice.[41] On February 25, the group performed the track on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.[42] On March 15, the album's title Leaving Through the Window was announced; later that day, the group worked on images for the album[17] with photographer Justin Stephens.[20] Between March and May, the group toured across the US.[43] Leaving Through the Window was released on May 21 as a joint release by Drive-Thru and MCA Records.[44] The UK edition, which was released on September 9,[45] included "Little" and "Walking By" (both from Audioboxer) as bonus tracks.[20]

Between late June and mid-August, the group went on the Warped Tour.[46] Following this, the group toured across Europe supporting New Found Glory in August and September, before headlining two shows in the UK and four in Japan.[43] In October and November, the band toured across the US alongside New Found Glory, Finch and Further Seems Forever.[47] A DVD single was released on November 5, featuring music videos for "I Woke Up in a Car" and "If You C Jordan".[48] Following two European shows,[49] the band went on a co-headlining tour of the US with the Juliana Theory between January and March 2003,[50] supported by Vendetta Red, Red West[51] and Fiction Plane.[52] On January 17, a music video was released for "Punk Rock Princess";[49] it was filmed the previous December in Toronto, Canada.[50] The track was released as a CD single in the UK on March 17 with "Forget December" and "Konstantine" as the B-sides.[53] In March, the group went on a UK tour[54] with Home Grown and Steel Train.[55] On March 31, "If You C Jordan" was released as a single.[56]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[25]
Chart AttackUnfavorable[57]
CMJ Music MonthlyFavorable[58]
Drowned in Sound1/5 stars[45]
Melodic3/5 stars[27]
Ox-Fanzine4/10[29]
Punknews.org2/5 stars[30]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[59]
Sputnikmusic3/5[22]

Leaving Through the Window charted at number 101 on the Billboard 200 chart,[60] selling 12,000 copies in its first week.[61] It also charted at number one on the Heatseekers Albums chart.[62] "Punk Rock Princess" charted at number 33 in the UK.[63] "If You C Jordan" charted at number 29 on the Alternative Songs chart[64] and number 68 in the UK.[63] By June 2005, album sales stood at 291,000 copies.[65] BuzzFeed included the album at number 24 on their 41 Pop-Punk Albums All 2000s Kids Loved list.[26] Rock Sound ranked it at number 227 on the list of best albums in their lifetime.[66]

AllMusic reviewer Alex Henderson wrote the group's style was "punky yet vulnerable and introspective", with McMahon "anchoring" many of the songs around his piano.[25] He felt it was "among the more memorable and promising alterna-rock efforts of 2002."[25] Steve Servos of Chart Attack claimed the band tried "so hard to be punk ... but fall so far short that when they look around they can’t even see where punk went."[57] He criticized the album's length, wishing the band had left "at least a minute from each song on the studio’s floor, where they belong."[57] CMJ Music Monthly writer Michelle Kleinsak said McMahon's musicianship on the piano disconnects the group from their emo/punk peers, and helps make their album "such an elegant and confident debut."[58] Drowned in Sound's Peter White dismissed the album as an "XFM playlist without the edge" that "makes a mockery of all things beautiful about the joy of discovery and the fun of breathing."[45]

Melodic reviewer Kaj Roth wrote that the "real nice" record was filled with "loads of catchy tunes" that are "perfect for the radio this hot summer."[27] Punknews.org's Scott Heisel opened his review complaining of the record's length: "This CD is too fucking long", before adding that it was "way too long overall. There are too many songs, and each song seems to enjoy sauntering in at around the 4 minute mark".[30] In spite of this, he said the group seemed "pretty proficient at writing a good pop song" and praised McMahon's vocals.[30] Richard Abowitz of Rolling Stone noted the band crafted "suburban ennui and high school angst into slick, hummable punk."[59] He mentioned that McMahon's song writing was "the secret weapon," calling it "derivative, but not boring."[59] Sputnikmusic emeritus br3ad_man viewed the album as "pretty average", though they found the lyrics/vocals "really personal", adding that some listeners would dislike McMahon's voice.[22]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Andrew McMahon, except where noted.[20]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."I Want to Save You" 4:22
2."Punk Rock Princess" 3:52
3."I Woke Up in a Car" 4:13
4."If You C Jordan" 4:15
5."The Astronaut" 4:28
6."Hurricane"Josh Partington3:50
7."Cavanaugh Park" 4:18
8."Fall"Partington3:40
9."Straw Dog" 3:49
10."Good News" 3:51
11."Drunk Girl" 4:07
12."Not What It Seems" 3:18
13."You're Gone"Partington4:37
14."Globes & Maps" 4:48
Total length:57:35

Personnel[edit]

Personnel per sleeve.[20]

Charts[edit]

Charts (2002) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[67] 101
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[68] 1

References[edit]

Citations

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  3. ^ a b c Gennet, Robbie (January 1, 2010). "Jacks Mannequin Andrew McMahons Piano Pop Phenomenon". Keyboard. Archived from the original on October 15, 2018. Retrieved October 24, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^ a b Shari Black Velvet 2003
  5. ^ a b c d e Lewis, Randy (October 16, 2001). "A Rock Music Melting Pot". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 14, 2018. Retrieved October 24, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  6. ^ Birchmeier, Jason. "Something Corporate | Biography & History". AllMusic. Archived from the original on March 12, 2017. Retrieved February 11, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
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  9. ^ Staff (March 25, 2010). "Andrew McMahon On Restarting Something Corporate". OC Weekly. Archived from the original on July 21, 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  10. ^ a b "News (October 2001)". Something Corporate. Archived from the original on November 13, 2006. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
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  12. ^ Baker, Brian (March 22, 2017). "Sound Advice: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness with Atlas Genius and Night Riots (March 28)". CityBeat. Archived from the original on July 7, 2019. Retrieved July 24, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
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  14. ^ Billboard 1999, p. 74
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Sources