American Hi-Fi - Hearts On Parade (Cover Artwork)

American Hi-Fi

Hearts On Parade (2005)


Cotton candy is nothing but sugar and food colouring whipped up in one of those fancy machines to look like something substantial. When you get it wet or squish it, it shrinks down to just about nothing, but damn, it's tasty. Most people grow out of cotton candy. "It's for kids," they say, as they venture far from the sticky sweet goodness of the floss. Me, I still love the stuff. American Hi-Fi is kind of like cotton candy: a guilty pleasure to some, a treat to others. It's sweet, but not substantial.

I've heard a lot of ragging on pop-punk lately, most specifically that whole debate in the Chixdiggit! review. Whether or not liking pop-punk is a phase, American Hi-Fi does it right…and for those of us who like a lotta sugar in our coffee, it's damn delicious.

In typical pop-punk style, nearly every song on Hearts On Parade is about girls: lust, crushes, and everything in between falling in and out of love. Lyrics follow predictable rhymes and song structure is straightforward throughout.

"The Geeks Get the Girls" has all the elements of a classic American Hi-Fi song. It's kind of like an update to "Flavour Of The Weak," and just like that release, will be catchy enough to lodge itself in your brain like chewed-up bubblegum on a sneaker. "We All Want Something Real" is the ideal high school anthem, "Highs And Lows" and "Where Did we Go Wrong" have, sweet ska-inspired guitar lines and "Separation Anxiety's" clap-happy elements and toe-tapping percussion give it all the elements of a long-lived radio hit.