I always say that I like any kind of music, as long as its Rock. And my tastes have a wide range, as you may have noticed by my earlier reviews. Though already a year old, this CD is one of my latest purchases. I have to admit, I probably would have passed it up had I not had some freebies coming to me from BMG. So this was a good choice as a freebie. The two hits from it--All Star and Then the Morning Comes were worth it. But was the rest of the CD worth paying full price for?
A couple of things I liked--first off it is 50 minutes long, with 15 songs. The length of playing time is in its favor. Also, the insert contains the lyrics for all the songs, another plus in its favor (though the lyrics are printed in one big paragraph with stanzas all run together, so its kinda hard to read). It has a picture of the members of the band; at least they are not so ugly that their appearance is a big gross-out!
The first time I listened to this I felt it was kind of mediocre and in some places boring. I liked the general style of it--more of a "pop" style, rather than trying to be weird like so many new bands do. No discordant sounds, nothing that clashes with the overall sound of the CD, nothing outlandishly experimental.
Other reviewers commented that they liked what some of the songs SAID. I have to admit, that I don't really pay much attention to what the song says--until its already got my blessing based on the tune and the beat. THEN, I bother to try to decipher the words. It will get a few more points if the SOUNDS of the words blend with the music nicely, but still the message or meaning is not really that important to me (well, except maybe excessive cussing). It is true here--I have not even read the words to any of the songs, never mind even tried to figure out their meaning, so can't comment on it. I will have to listen to the CD many more times before I can judge the value of the message, if there really is one.
Their sound reminds me a lot of some of the early to mid 80s bands, such as Devo or Flock of Seagulls in that it uses a lot of computerized sounds. There is more guitar in it than those groups, however. If I didn't know better, I would also say they sound British. It seems like I can hear it in the lead singer's voice. That is also reminiscent of those early 80s groups. A few comments on individual songs.
Who's There - I liked this one because it has lots of tempo changes in it. That keeps it interesting for me. It has good harmony between the lead singer and the back-up singers. This one has lots of computerized "UFO" type sounds.
Diggin' Your Scene, I Just Wanna See, Satellite - All three of these were pretty boring to me. Just droned on, with very little tempo change. Vocals were somewhat flat. They reminded me of the background music in "Pulp Fiction." Memorable in context, forgettable out of it.
Waste - This one reminded me of some of Pink Floyd's stuff--kind of morbid sounding but mysterious sounding also. It is a ballad, but still pretty loud for a ballad. I thought the lead singer's voice kind of clashed with the music on this one.
All Star - The only song on this CD that I've really paid attention to the words. I do love the line "I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed." That makes me laugh. I know some people like that. This song is more your typical pop song, with a slower verse and a faster chorus. It has a catchy tune.
Radio and Stoned - More hard rock tunes than the others, with virtually no computerization. I didn't really like them much, but maybe repetition will breed familiarity. Reminiscent of late 70s hard rock music.
Then the Morning Comes - This is probably their biggest hit so far. I especially like the opening sequence. I wish that instrumentation appeared more frequently on the CD. This one is also a more typical pop song. Nice harmony here too.
Road Man - This song has kind of a Jamaican flavor to it. It reminded me of Don't Worry Be Happy, except that it isn't nearly as irritating. And the singer can actually carry a tune. The words are easily understandable in this one. There are some nice horns on this one, particularly trombone.
Fallen Horses, Defeat You, Home - Like I Just Wanna See, et al, these two were rather boring. They're back to their computerized whistles and toots here. Somewhat more tempo changes though.
Come On Come On - This one reminds me of the Go-Gos or the Bangles--kind of a frantic pace to hurry up and get the song done. The lyrics are repetitive. There is an organ sound (electronic keyboard I am sure), which is a surprise. Reminded me of some 60s stuff, like the Zombies.
Can't Get Enough of You Baby - This one sounded like a 60s tune mixed in with a re-mix of Then the Morning Comes. There are quite a bit of keyboards on this one too. Kind of reminds me of (don't laugh) some of the Monkees stuff.
So what is my conclusion? Well I've bought many other albums in the past that I didn't really like the first, second, and even third time I played them. But the more times I played it, the more it grew on me. I think this is one of those. Though in general, I do like their sound, and their hits, I think I would like more variety. I'll be interested if they stick around for more than a two or three hit wonder.
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