Big City Dreams - Honesty (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Big City Dreams

Honesty (2005)


With all of these new pop-rock bands coming out of the woodworks, I'd love to be able to ask each one of them if they truly think they're doing something with some artistic merit, or if they're aware that all that's being accomplished is riding on the coattails of bands like Fall Out Boy.

In any event, Big City Dreams are just one more in an exponentially long line of cookie cutter acts with sugar sweet melodies and lyrics that, printed, would make Ray Charles thank God he's blind.

Judging by nothing other than what I've said already, you can probably tell exactly what the Honesty EP sounds like. And yes, you've heard it all before, probably more times than you would ever even care to. Formulaic to the fullest extent, these five songs represent the four musicians playing them in the most uncreative of lights. If you'll let that aspect slide though, and understand that nothing groundbreaking or impressive will come from your speakers while this is on, some of you may enjoy it.

The vocals of singer Mark Blume don't mirror those of Fall Out Boy vocalist Patrick Stump, but I'd be a liar if I tried to tell you anything other than that the similarities are pretty staggering. In both delivery and execution, to the way both singers try and hit certain notes, it doesn't appear to be any sort of coincidence. Blume has the chops to carry a decent tune, yes, but that tune really never changes. "Can't Catch Haley's Comet" (I know, I know) is a bouncy, mid-paced track that focuses much more on vocals than instrumentation, and the verses are really what will bring about comparisons to Stump, as certain words don't sound anything like what's trying to be conveyed. The lazy, melodic chord progressions in the background don't do anything to spice up the record, either. No matter what, it just comes across as bland song in, and song out.

It's been done before, and it's been done better. I've heard much, much worse, but at this juncture in time, and with some of the reviews I've done, that can't really be taken with more than a grain of salt.