Runaway Orange - The Cutting Room (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Runaway Orange

The Cutting Room (2003)

No Milk

The first impression of track one "It Can't Be Me" seemed to be a fairly accurate one as the disc progressed. It sounds like… well, like a lot of bands doing the emo-pop thing. Midtown came to mind (and I feel like I always compare bands to them, but a lot of bands sound like them, not that they defined the sound or anything, but most people have heard them). I also say that because this singer also sounds like he has a cold, like the one guy in Midtown, but the Runaway Orange guy has a little lower voice. This first song is upbeat with a catchy chorus, over music that is not just power chords, some understated arpeggios as well. The chorus has background "doo doos" in it, which at first made me gag, but now I sing them, go figure.

Overall, the tracks on here are well written pop. The vocals are decent with some nice harmonies, but the guy's voice and emo clichés (the pitch falling at the end of notes, etc) along with lyrics about girls and nooses don't set him apart from the crowd. But the music behind it all is well written and solid, although nothing new. I did still find myself bobbing in my chair as I listened, especially to songs like "Maybe I'll Figure Out" with it's call-and-echo singing in the catchy chorus. In addition, the CD has some great production extras on it, which is good to see from a smaller label release. For example, The disc starts with a fade in and screwed up EQ and some panning, to finally slam into the first song full-bore; a nice touch. Also, a few tunes like "Say the Word" and "Change the World" have some cool synth stuff tucked nicely into the mix to add just a little extra texture and melody. And the driving "Everything Feels Right" seems to have a bit of that Cher robo-vocal effect on one of the background parts. I'm a sucker for that, and it's just enough so that it isn't sickening. Lastly, the art is clean looking and ties the release all together nicely with close-up pics of old movie gear.

However some tunes bring it all down, like the slow and boring "Heartache to Heartache" which reminds me of something I'd hear on the radio… if I listened to the radio… what the devil are the kids listening to these days? Oasis maybe? Take out your lighters and sway along. Also, "Nothing at All" is exactly that, a skip-able acoustic tune. And I think I heard frickin' windchimes in it.

If Runaway Orange just cut out the filler, The Cutting Room would be one solid emo-pop record. If you still can't get enough of this kind of stuff, here is even more.