Like so many of the bands that I listen to, I’ve been a fan of Falling in Reverse since I accidentally discovered them when I was in high school. While taking a slew of online courses, I would listen to Pandora and collect new and exciting music. Falling in Reverse was one of the bands I came across. When I learned their singer was Ronnie Radke, the talented individual that started Escape the Fate and sculpted their first record, I was hooked.
For me, there is a lot of sentimental baggage with Falling in Reverse’s older material. Their first album captivated me, and for a long time was one of my favorite records. However, after their second album dropped, it easily surpassed The Drug in Me is You and became my favorite Falling in Reverse album. I kept my copy of Fashionably Late in my car for the first couple of semesters of college.
I feel that Falling in Reverse is one of those bands whose albums are a little weird to rank. All of their records are different. Their fourth album, for example, is very different than the rest of their music. It’s not heavy and filled with epic guitar solos, rather its “vibey”, to quote Ronnie Radke. This doesn’t make it bad, it just means the album is really different.
It was hard to put Falling in Reverse’s albums into a “worst-to-best” order because of my attachment to some of the songs. However, after relistening to their records in full, I was able to hammer out a ranking list.
#4 Coming Home
I regard Coming Home as Falling in Reverse’s worst album. While I adore the drive behind the band’s “huge left turn”, as Ronnie Radke put it, I think they turned a little much. In short, the album lost the spark of unique charm that was sprinkled across the rest of their material.
Coming Home is also less ambitious, especially compared to Fashionably Late. Coming Home incorporates less ideas from other genres and styles. It’s very radio friendly and filled with “oh oh ohs”. The songs also tend to focus more on the lyrical content, rather than flashy instruments, which isn’t bad in itself. However, I feel this can lead to a boring album when this is how all of the songs are.
There are some tracks worthy out checking on Coming Home. “Fuck You and All Your Friends” is a very upbeat song that could have been listed on either of the band’s previous two albums. The title track and “Loser” are also good. The bonus tunes are actually pretty good. They are more of what one might call “classic” Falling in Reverse. This just means they are bright and laced with insults and employ an intriguing instrument arraignment.
#3 Just Like You
Just Like You is a fairly logical outcome after the momentum Falling in Reverse felt pushing them following the success of Fashionably Late. Just Like You is a grand mixture of heavy metal and pop punk. This is after all a mixture that Ronnie Radke helped foster years ago. There is no rapping, which is disappointing for me. Some people dislike Ronnie’s raps, but I happen to like them.
Musically, I tend to think of Just Like You as a logical conclusion after Falling in Reverse’s first two albums. It’s a combination of themes strewn across both albums. Yet, this record feels more raw than their previous albums. It feels more chaotic, where Fashionably Late and The Drug in Me is You were fairly polished.
Surprisingly, this album has a lot of good songs. For me, the songs that are a must listen to are; “Chemical Prisoner”, “God If You Are Above…”, “Just Like You” and “Wait and See”. Oddly enough, none of these are any of the heavier tracks. While I normally enjoy the band’s harder music, I didn’t particularly enjoy the ones on this record.
#2 The Drug In Me Is You
Falling in Reverse’s debut album comes in second place. This was not Ronnie Radke’s first time at bat, as he had started another successful band, Escape the Fate. I will not go any further into the drama surrounding his transition between bands, however, it is worth noting that he formed Falling in Reverse after creating a successful debut album with Escape the Fate.
The main reason I placed this album in second place is because the band experimented and pushed their sound more on Fashionably Late. The Drug In Me Is You boasts numerous great songs and infectious lyrics. This album showcases the band’s ability to play their instruments very well. The guitar player often shreds through solos and riffs while Ronnie screams his lyrics.
One thing I enjoy about this album is that many of the songs feel like they are telling a narrative. “The Western” and “I’m Not a Vampire” are great examples of this. I think Ronnie Radke scores extra points here. Whenever a band is able to tell a story with their music, I feel they are better at their craft than the average group.
This album runs very deep with potential singles, however the album is best digested as a whole. That being said, if you can only listen to a couple, “Raised By Wolves” “Goodbye Graceful” and “The Westerner” are a good overview.
#1 Fashionably Late
The follow up to The Drug In Me Is You was announced with the tune “Alone”, which features rapping, a poppy chorus and heavy breakdowns. This was an abrupt change from the band’s hard rock roots. The song’s opening line announces the radical change of style clearly: “This is the end of everything I’ve ever known”. Certainly, at the time, I naively thought it was the end of a great band. I was wrong.
As it turned out, Fashionably Late was not a rap-rock album. However, there are parts of the album that certainly feature rap solos. Rather, the band crafted some heavy tunes, some lighter pop punk songs and even some slower, heartfelt tracks. Oh, and there’s a country song at the end. I believe Falling in Reverse performed all of these styles well and meshed the various elements together with their uncommon flair. This variety of elements and styles earned Fashionably Late the top spot.
As I mentioned, this is one of my favorite albums. Naturally, I feel like others should give it a chance. However, if you can only stand to listen to one or two Falling in Reverse songs, I would recommend “Alone” and “Keep Holding On”. Of the two, “Alone” (the rap-rock single) is the heavier tune. However, the “heaviness” is hidden in the breakdown. It isn’t featured throughout the song. My other recommendation is a rather soft song that has a good message and builds nicely to a thunderous ending. It’s raw and personal, yet motivational.