January 4th, 2010
Not Yet Rated
"Tell Me It's Over"
is one of those guilty pleasures. Not Jonas Brothers or Spice Girls
guilty, but the more kind of 'I finished all the milk and left you
three drops in the carton and put it back' guilty. They are a band I
discovered when my best bud Nick sent me a random track and said,
'This is the band of the brother of the singer from The Fray. It's so
good!' And it was. It was weird as hell, but also catchy in a unique
way. I only had that one song and could never find the whole album it
came off of. Soon, that album was not sold anymore and I think I lost
that track ('Books' it was called?). However, I did continue to follow
Meese. I don't know if it was their connections to the Denver/Boulder
scene through their brother in The Fray or what -- but each album has
become more straightforward and poppy. Kind of like Meese are trying
to be...The Fray. Either way, I personally like them more than The
Fray, but they did sign to a major label and that crazy weirdness in
their songs that I loved is all but gone. This is their first major
label release on Atlantic.
In terms of general song strength and structure, they have gotten
better and better with each release. They sound like they can play
arenas now and leave with the girls screaming their heads off and
their respective boyfriends thinking something like, 'What the fuck
just happened? But I like it!' Hence, the guilty pleasure status. The
first track on Broadcast immediately shot to the top of my
favorite songs of the year that I'll keep secret for now. They
included their hit, 'Tell Me It's Over' from their previous EP which
is definitely MTV ready. The songs sound really good, but the crazy
cleverness they had in lyrics from the past are also gone. A good
example is on the title track 'Broadcast', the lyrics are:
'If I promise not to lie, would you lay your army down? If I don't do
what you like, you don't have to stay the night.'
It just reminds me of something from sixth grade. But maybe thats the
target audience. Who knows. Still, these are great radio pop songs.
Another song off their previous EP, 'Taking the World On' also has
simple lyrics repeating the song title over and over again. It sounds
a lot like The Fray. But it's all right. They are still enjoyable,
well-crafted pop songs. At the end of the day, I'll be a cheese-ball
agreeing with Meese, 'It's too hard taking the world on.'
You can stay in obscurity forever and have a core group of people
genuinely love what you do. You can sell out and water a lot of that
creativity down and keep a little bit of it for yourself and have a
lot more people genuinely appreciate what you do. Maybe even love, but
probably not. It becomes more a business at that point, but everything
becomes a business at some point. It fucking sucks. I think we'd all
like to say we'd stick with the first sentence, but secretly we'd end
up choosing the second. We all end up becoming sellouts someway,
someday or another. But as long as someone, somewhere is enjoying
whats going on and coming out from what you're doing, we'll be ok.