Home School Valedictorian is the second album by American Hard Rock band Adelitas Way. It was released in 2011, and has been a firm favourite with me ever since.
The tracklisting for this album is as follows:
1. The Collapse
5. Good Enough
6. Cage The Beast
7. I Can Tell
8. Somebody Wishes They Were You
10. I Wanna Be
The overall look of this album is fairly bland and "high school band" looking, and yet it is actually one of the best albums I've heard in a while. It is essentially made up of white, red and black. The main background is white. The band name is in red, and goes diagonally across the top left hand corner. Then there is a print of high school style loud speakers being the main focus of the cover. This is in black. Then there's the title of the album, Home School Valediction, in a light grey colour going diagonally across the top right hand corner of the album cover. It's not the most appealing of covers, I must admit, but I do like it.
As much as I love every song on this album, I will limit myself to only writing about my favourite four (I'd go with three if I could choose between them!) so as not to end up writing an essay about the album.
"Sick" is, in my opinion, one of the best songs on the album. It has quite a catchy feel to it and you soon find yourself singing along to the lyrics, although it's probably best to avoid singing it at work with lines like "I hate my boss" in it! Never a good idea! There are swear words within this song (and a few of the others, actually) so it's best to watch when and where you play it. It's a great song though, tackling the idea of being 'sick' (although it's more the idea of being 'sick and tired of every day life') and the idea of being poor. It's something that many people can relate to in some ways, though. If you like Theory of a Deadman's song "I hate my life", this is basically that song. Only better, in my opinion.
"Criticize" is another of the best songs on the album. To be fair, they're all good, as I said before, but this one is just one of those songs that you hear once and can't stop listening to it for some reason. While the instrumentals are essentially quite similar to the sound of "Sick", they are distinctively different songs. The theme of this song is more focused on the idea of being in love with someone - a subject that is very popular with all age groups - and yet it doesn't solely focus on the positives of being in love. The chorus goes; "I like the way you won't apologize, I like the way you just demoralize, I like the way you always roll your eyes, someone as perfect as you is hard to criticize." The repetition and rhyming here just makes it so memorable, and the beat just adds to this. Overall, it's just a great song.
"Good Enough" was the first song that I heard by Adelitas Way, and I instantly fell in love with it. There's just something about it that captured me right away. It took me just 3 minutes and 52 seconds to fall in love with this band, just from this one song. The lyrics aren't necessarily the most positive of lyrics, but it kind of sums up the way I (and I'm sure a lot of other people as well) feel at times; "There was a time when my best was good enough." We've all felt that we weren't good enough at some point, I'm sure, and this song just seems to capture that so well. I often find myself singing it, or with it stuck in my head, and it's really quite catchy, much like Adelitas Way's other songs. I think that this will always be my favourite Adelitas Way song just because it was the first one that I ever heard and that helped me to basically fall in love with the band.
"Cage The Beast" is the final song that I am going to write about, because it's just too good to leave off my list of favourites. This is one of those songs that is memorable, although you end up singing the same lines over and over and can't remember the rest of it. The chorus is really memorable, with lines like "You can't cage the beast, there's no breaking me, you can't cage the beast inside of me" being the main lines. The verses are great as well, but the chorus is just that bit more memorable in my opinion. This track features more instrumental breaks than many of the other tracks on this album do, and certainly more than the other ones that I have written about here do, anyway. The instrumentals here sound like the kind of thing you might expect Bullet for my Valentine or Slipknot to produce, and yet the vocals are completely different to those bands, which I think makes them more unique.
Overall, I really like this album, and would definitely recommend it if you like any of the other bands I've mentioned here. I bought the album for about £9 I believe, although it was the beginning of last year that I bought it, so the price may have changed somewhat by now. Amazon do currently stock it for £8.80 though, so it's still available for the price I paid.