This CD is too fucking long.
I just wanted to get that out of the way right up front so you know.
So, what else can I say about this band? Well, they're listed as a "punk" band on the MCA Records webpage. As an interesting sidenote, the band is also listed in their "pop" category as well, and they fit there much better. In this album's 14 tracks, there isn't a hint of punk rock anywhere to be found [save the title of one song, "Punk Rock Princess"]. Let the bashing commence in the comments section now, right? Whatever.
Well, I better talk about the music at some point. So, like I said, there's 14 tracks, and the album clocks in at a way too long 57:28. For a pop band with a gimmick [the liberal use of a piano in the tracks], this is way too long overall. There are too many songs, and each song seems to enjoy sauntering in at around the 4 minute mark, acting like the musical embodiment of the drunk uncle at Christmas who just won't leave when he's asked.
These songs like to beat their choruses into your head over and over to make sure you don't forget them, and I'll be damned if every song on this album isn't named after the hook in said song. There's no hidden message in these titles: "I Woke Up In A Car," "Drunk Girl," "You're Gone" - want to guess what the song will be about? I figured as much.
Musically, the band seems pretty proficient at writing a good pop song. They're all competent musicians, and singer/pianist Andrew really has a nice voice which he finally allows to shine on the album's closer, a sparse piano number called "Globes and Maps." A string section turns up very frequently throughout the album as well. It adds a nice symphonic touch to some of the tracks, but it gets overused and played out [a gimmick band wearing out different gimmick in the studio - ironic, ain't it?].
Unfortunately, the band felt the need to recycle a lot of old material on this release. Three tracks from their "Audioboxer" EP [Jordan, Princess, and Hurricane] all get repeated, as well as a handful of songs from their first full length as well. That's tacky and insulting to fans, in my opinion.
Overall, if you want a decent pop album to hum along to in the background and you want to drop the 15 bucks, then go for it. There really is nothing special about this CD whatsoever - go buy a Ben Folds Five album if you want good piano-driven pop, or if you want more electic stuff [which this band doesn't even think about going into], pick up the new Ben Kweller or Ben Folds CDs - they're much, much better than this. To be blunt, this is a New Found Glory, just slower and with more flourishes. Don't believe the hype.
iF yoU C Jordan
Punk Rock Princess
iF yoU C Jordan