I'm not sure what originally compelled me to check out this band's page and album as my first review for WeLoveYourSongs.com (I'll post the condensed review on the ELAH facebook page once I have it!). It could have been the name. It could have been the pop-rock description. Heck, it could have been the bright orange background in their picture. Or maybe my Italian roots were calling me home. Whatever the reason, I'm stoked to get into this band's album ...just a matter of time.
I would also like to note that finding songs for a band called Bad Jokes is exceptionally hard on YouTube. There are a lot of awful comedians captured on film out there!
The first track, "World Keep Tumblin' Down,"had me run from across the room back to my computer to start typing. Wow. This is actually really fantastic - the vocals are crisp and the melodies are gorgeous. There's a fine line in pop-rock between too gritty and too whiney in voices, and this man treads it perfectly. His voice is smooth, and the music he has to sing to is made by a band, playing steadily like pros.
A really interesting R&B turn is taken in "So Lonely." I have no idea if that was the intention, but the chorus just plays out with so much funk and soul that the vibe is there. The funk guitar might be the reasoning for that one. The chimes are still there though - at this point, I have to say boys, they're a little overused. The songs could stand without the glissando. What's impressive here are the harmonies and overlapping vocals, especially in the last 30 seconds or so. From the get-go, this isn't what I would have expected, but I think we're learning that this is a totally different kind of band we're dealing with.
Oh man... this is a boy band song. It just is. If you want to classify it as something else, please, help me out. "One More Chance" is one of the closest things I've heard to those old BSB songs in a long time. I'm not saying that is a bad thing - I'm a child of the 90's, and more importantly a girl child of the 90's - BSB 4 lyfe. I think the original rock sound of the first track was just so interesting and cool that I was expecting more of it throughout. That's all right though - for what this is, it does sound very good.
All right! "Stay Tonight"is back to more of a rock sound, and a harder one at that. The harmonies are still there (a good thing), showing off the group as a whole. There's intensity here though, giving the sound something so much more. Please, let us know you mean what you're singing. Something of note here - this is the first song on the album that I really can hear any sort of foreign accent going on. Really gives the whole thing a new image.
"Deep In Your Soul" comes at us with a slight sultry beat, with a piano to emphasize the sweetness of the track. The song is a simple one that could easily take its place in a movie's romantic dinner scene. Our singer sounds like a younger Michael Buble, though that could be the piano talking. Either way, the best way to describe this one is somewhere between lovely and romantic.
It's songs like this one, "The End,"that remind me, even just a little while later, that these guys really do have something to offer. They've got lyrics about that special someone, but do it in a way that's fun to dance to, with enough rock to be legitimate. This is, as far as I can tell, the best summation of everything they have to offer.
"Beautiful Girl"brings back the harmonies in full-force, with that pop group offering that seems to be up and down here. I can't call it's one of my favorites on the album, but due to the whole being-a-girl factor, I can't say it's my least favorite either. It's a pleasant listen, but nothing I'm putting too much effort or stock into. All-in-all, it's one of those you could throw on in the background and not be bothered by anything that's coming from the speakers.
The blues sound that enters in for "Call Your Name" is intriguing. Even after everything we've heard, this is surprising. I have to say though, on this one, the music and the vocals do not work out together at all. The vocals are still very harmonic with a simple melody, where as the music itself rings out with passion and depth. Separately, I could see this working. Together? Eh, we really need one fantastic strong voice singing out.
"Belinda - Reprise" is the last song. While this wasn't great the first time around, it seems that the pacing has picked up this time around, and that gorgeous voice is back in full force. I love albums where it really feels like everyone's giving it their all for the final number. It's like going to a concert where things end at their absolute best - and what more could you really want? The sweet idea of being true to yourself and loving someone for that is so right, and made even better by this more rock-based reprise version. This is what I'm talking about guys - keep it up!
There's also a hidden bit after the track that... hm. I'm not totally sure what to make of, because it's about a minute of symphonic strings going. While it's beautiful, this final moment has left me more confused than ever.
Added to My Playlist:
- "World Keep Tumblin' Down"
- "Deep In Your Soul"
- "The End"
- "Belinda - Reprise"
It's beyond difficult for a band to really break-out, so any chance to be heard is a good one. These guys present a variety of listening options throughout this album, and while it's not all for some people, they do sort of touch on what everyone would want to hear at one point or another. Sure, it'd be nice to be able to niche them in somewhere in particular, but for one go-around, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Overall, I'm thankful for the chance to hear this whole thing, and could really see some incredible shining moments that could prove to give this band a really bright future.