The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Don't You Fake It (Cover Artwork)

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Don't You Fake It (2006)


What is there to say about the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus? They offer us eleven songs of average length, average-sounding pop-rock. Indeed, some P.R. folks may tell us this is "emo." The guy sings not unlike the singer from Rise Against, and sometimes he or someone else cuts loose with a throat-shredding shout. It's all very monochromatic. It's all very safe and predictable. It's all of what one should anticipate from the current onslaught of new wave pop bands masked under the guise of "emo." Maybe it was the same well-paid major label and music media suits that adopted "grunge" as a marketing ploy.

Plenty of young music fans who will never own a stereo, let alone a turntable, will probably download this and get a few days out of this record. Then they'll delete it and move on to Jack's Mannequin or the Audition or whatever other flavor of the month cute boy band who is playing make-up and wearing guitar, as Paul Westerberg once astutely observed. Who am I to deny the youth of today what they crave, what they deserve? Does music like this sell like Playstation 3? I want to think of this as an exclusively American phenomenon, like obesity or handgun fatalities. We end up with the majority of our population overweight and statistically likely to suffer injury at the hands of a firearm. And said majority will listen to whatever Steve Jobs or Simon Cowell tells them they should.

So RJA, you are on Virgin Records. I hope you took the advance and put at least a small percentage into savings. You have this glossy, sugary sweet production on your big rock record. Auto-Tune and the click track served you well. Maybe Taking Back Sunday or Panic! at the Disco will take you on tour and you'll get another year or two's worth of mileage out of this rock machine. Then, there's always college.