Tuesday, December 22, 2009 Review - Forever The Sickest Kids - The Weekend: Friday

Track List:
1. Do Or Die
2. Tough Love
3. She Likes (Bitter Sweet Love)
4. Take It Slow
5. Hip Hop Chick
6. What Do You Want From Me
7. Hawkbot

You love them or you hate them. There seems to be no gray area for Forever The Sickest Kids. Their first album, Underdog Alma Mater, was a mega hit for their genre. Their follow up, The Weekend: Friday, is the first of a three part EP series instead of one full album. Hopefully the rest of the weekend is better than this Friday which starts out as a party and ends up blacking out. Painfully.

The first few tracks have them back to their signature style. Do Or Die is full of catchy hooks and a strong buildup to the chorus. However, the first sign of change from Underdog Alma Mater is definitely the increased synth. Tough Love is the first mishap of the weekend. The absolutely awful vocals in the first ten seconds already take much of the appeal out of the song. If you can get past those first ten seconds, the song isn't terrible, but good luck. Luckily, the highlights of Friday is up next. She Likes is easily the catchiest song on the album, and even though the chorus is easily a ripoff of about fifty songs out already, you won't forget this song. Friday hits a peak with Take It Slow. Forever The Sickest Kids moves away from their pop track with a pop-punk song All Time Low wishes they had thought of.

However, this is where the good Friday goes bad. Hip Hop Chick is so tremendously bad that you don't think they could get any worse. It's extremely electro heavy with awful lyrics such as Don't ask my why I'm with/A hip hop chick. Friday rebounds a bit with What Do You Want From Me. This song is a grower that may take some time to get into. That brings us to the last track; Hawkbot. This song makes Hip Hop Chick seem like a Grammy winning song. It is that horrid. I can't even go on how awful this song is. The band didn't even mention this song on their Alternative Press track by track review. I wonder why. It's a pathetic hip-hop song with absolutely no guitar. Just don't listen to this song. There's no point even giving it a chance.

Maybe Forever The Sickest Kids are geniuses. Maybe this is a concept album trying to focus on the progression of a Friday night. Maybe they purposely made the end bad to symbolize where partying hard on a Friday night can do. However, I think we all know that wasn't their intention. If only there was a way to split an EP in half, I'm sure many listeners would get this EP. But, sadly, the monstrosity of Hawkbot and Hip Hop Chick make the second half of it impossible to even listen to. It's definitely an album to purchase single songs online, but buying the whole album is a waste of your money. And let us hope that Saturday and Sunday have better outcomes.

Sunday, December 20, 2009 Review - Late Nights And Lovers - Hello Hollywood

1. Danger Danger
2. Celebutant
3. Summer Sweetness
4. So Late So Sorry
5. Kids Undercover
6. If I Could Be

Redoing this for Original review can be found HERE.

Let’s cover this now. Hello Hollywood is not ground breaking music. They won’t sell millions of records (probably) and won’t change music forever (definitely). However, they’re darn catchy. And they’re having fun with what they do. Although they get a lot of criticism for their totally bland music, I would bet everything I have that they don’t care. At all. There’s hundreds and thousands of small bands just like Hello Hollywood. However, many bands don’t even reach anywhere near where they have gotten.

Danger Danger is a perfect example of the majority of their songs, containing simple lyrics having to do with love, simple guitar riffs, and a chorus full of extremely catchy hooks. It’s one of their better songs that will hook you from the first chords from the guitar. Celebutant follows the exact same formula, containing a chorus that could be mistaken for an edited version of the first song. The difference between Celebutant and Danger Danger is the extremely watered down verses. There’s just nothing fun about them at all. Summer Sweetness is another song of the same vein. It’s catchy, but bland. They do however gain credit for mentioning fireflies before Owl City did. So Late So Sorry adds another dimension with the guest vocals of Brian Dales from The Summer Set. His higher pitched voice definitely gives a change up from the usual low pitched voice of Hello Hollywood. The bland Kids Undercover has a lot of meaning to the band, but the lyrics are nothing special and neither is anything else in the song. If I Could Be finally switches things up a bit. And when I say a bit, I don’t mean much. The verses are basically slower versions of every other verse in the EP. It’s just another average song.

Hello Hollywood is definitely a band on the rise. They still need to work on diversifying their music. If they accomplish that, they could easily surge in popularity. They have plenty of potential. However, playing the same song over and over won’t get the band anywhere. You can listen to Hello Hollywood on myspace HERE.


If you haven't heard by now, I have been asked to do a few reviews for So, instead of continuing on with my best of the year, I'm going to work on these. Those albums/EPs will eventually be done, however separately. This is just a better opportunity for me. However, all of those will be posted here first, as always. I have been asked to do three so far; a remake of my Girls Get All The Action - White Lights, Hello Hollywood - Late Nights and Lovers, and Forever The Sickest Kids - The Weekend: Friday.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Smile, Kid Album Review - We The Kings

Track List
1. She Takes Me High
2. Promise The Stars
3. Heaven Can Wait
4. The Story Of Your Life
5. Rain Falls Down
6. Summer Love
7. In-N-Out (Animal Style)
8. Spin
9. Anna Marie (All We Need)
10. We’ll Be A Dream (feat. Demi Lovato)
11. What You Do To Me
12. Heaven Can Wait (Acoustic)
13. She Takes Me High (Acoustic)

Finally. It's been two years since their self titled album has come out. In those two years We The Kings broke into mainstream music, placed two songs in the Billboard top 100, had several headlining tours, and won over the hearts of hundreds of thousands of teenagers. We The Kings has steadily become a mainstay in iPods everywhere. As one of the last releases of the year, this album carried a significant amount of hype. I'll admit that I was worried for this album, however it is definitely a good pop album.

Currently, my favorite song is the opener, She Takes Me High. It contains the usual corny lyrics and extremely catchy lyrics, especially in the chorus. Travis also uses some of his best vocals in the chorus. The bonus acoustic version at the end of the album shows off the vocals even more. Promise The Stars is a fairly boring track in which nothing stands out. The verses are extremely boring and the lyrics are nothing special. Heaven Can Wait has already been talked about on the blog. My opinion has not deviated much, as I still am not a fan of the track. The song is finally bursting into top 40 radio, but I do not expect it to get anywhere. The acoustic version is much stronger vocally than the original, as Travis' voice is much more raw and shows much more emotion.

The next few songs are not anything special. However, they go right along with the album. The difference between individual songs and a full length album is that it is extremely difficult for every song to stand out. However, the more the album flows, the better the songs sound when played together. The Story Of Your Life is decent; the more I listen to it, the better it gets. However it is more filler than a single caliber track. The next track, Rain Falls Down, was originally supposed to feature Cassadee Pope. I am waiting for that version to leak, since I have a feeling it would drastically improve the song by adding another dimension to it. It's still extremely similar to Story Of Your Life. Summer Love continues with the streak of filler songs. The whistling can get fairly annoying.

The tracks finally begin to improve with In-N-Out (Animal Style). I'm not even going to comment on the track name, other than saying that's what the song is about. The synth definitely adds a lot to the song. The chorus is catchy and the bridge is definitely strong. A very good track, and single potential. Spin is one of the best songs on the album. The chorus has many similarities to Check Yes Juliet. The whole track seems to be produced a lot better than the filler tracks. It overall sounds different. If you liked the old WTK singles, this is your song. Anna Maria (All We Need) is a synth heavy song that although isn't as bad as the filler tracks, still is not anything special.

We'll Be A Dream is the song based on a similar theme to many other breakthrough bands of the year; a celebrity vocalist. In this song's case, it's Demi Lovato. I had an extremely bad feeling about this song, however I was extremely pleased with the outcome of the track. I had never been a Demi fan, however even I have to admit her voice is excellent in this song. The song seems like We The Kings' version of Two Is Better Than One. The song style is similar, with Demi coming in the second verse and the choruses building up intensity. The final track, What You Do To Me, was the second song released. It is also in the running to be the second single. If it does win that honor, it will be well deserved. It follows the blueprint We The Kings formula for success: catchy hooks and cute lyrics.

I was actually worried at the beginning of the review that I would have to rewrite the entire introduction due to the fact I wasn't sure that the album was as good as I thought it was. After listening through it several times, it's definitely better than I thought. It's a grower, but so are many full length albums. I disliked Nothing Personal at the first listen, but by the end of the year it has become one of my favorites. We The Kings has definitely created a catchy pop album that will almost sure produce several top 40 hits. Check out We The Kings on myspace HERE.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Top EP's Of The Year: Rookie Of The Year - Since I Left Your World

December is here, meaning it is time for the best of the year lists. To kick things off is Rookie Of The Year. I had heard of them before this EP, however I had not given much of a listen to them. After hearing such positive comments on, as well as there being an exclusive early listen of the track, I decided to look into it. Now it's one of my favorite EPs of the year.

The title track, Since I Left Your World is a great introduction to Rookie Of The Year's style. Their acoustic guitar/piano combo works extremely well in separating themselves from other bands. They diversify by adding other instruments including drums, electric guitar, and even tambourine in some songs. The songs still stay catchy even with the tranquility of the album. The choruses of Slow Down and Hey Lauren show the catchy hooks Rookie Of The Year can create. This is supported even more by the Ba Ba Ba's in And We Sing The Melody. The album ends with Eight Eight Keys, my favorite song on the album. It's a brilliant piano ballad that has a peaceful intensity in it. Ryan's vocals are brilliant as he sings "Eighty Eight Keys" The soft piano ends both the song and the EP.

One of my favorite things about starting this blog is my willingness to listen to new and different music. Occasionally, I find extremely talented bands such as Rookie Of The Year. I have talked to Ryan several times and he is a great dude. That also is another plus of the blog. It's always great to talk to the band members, since my one and only job from writing this blog is to promote the very best bands out there. This is a great album and a definite must listen. Check them out on myspace HERE.