It wouldn't be natural for The Get Up Kids to stagnate in the punk-rock cesspool forever; it's time these healthy Midwestern lads tested new waters. The band is popular in the punk faction known as emo-core (so named for the emotional content of the songs), but "Something to Write Home About" shows strong pop sensibilities and noticeable polish.
Singer Matt Pryor is as comfortable with catchy harmonies backing the group's up-tempo anthems as he is with tragic, romantic ballads. But it's a great contrast: The Kids have planned this album like a good live show, throwing in a few slow dances among the punk-rock standbys. Either way, the lyrics are always a little sad and cynical.
The Get Up Kids confidently take a few steps into new territory that seems both fresh and totally right for them. No, it's not called a "sellout." When it involves a higher level of maturity and musical competence, it's called "artistic growth." Evolution, if you will.