Thursday, September 16, 2010

Review of fake problems

This is my first real album review that I've actually put thought and several listens into. hopefully its helpful and well written.

YEAR: 2010
LABEL: Side One Dummy
RELEASE DATE: 9/21/2010


1. "ADT"
2. "5678"
3. "Songs For Teenagers"
4. "RSVP"
5. "Soulless"
6. "Complaint Dept."
7. "Done With Fun"
8. "The Magazines"
9. "White Lies"
10. "Grand Finale"
11. "Ghost To Coast"

I was very excited to hear this record today. I had heard the single of "soulless" and to be honest was not that impressed. I was just unsure if that song would be something that just sticks out from the record with its own sound, or if it flows with the sound. I was unsure of what that sound would be. Following up on "Its great to be alive" would be no easy task. That record is upbeat, anthem filled and heartfelt. We all know fake problems knows how to kick out the bangers, but would they do it in the same vein as previous releases?

Thankfully, the answer is no. This record brings out an entirely new sound for the band. This record could have been the soundtrack for the movie "That thing you do!" Not to say these songs are mindless pop jingles, but the over all sound to me at least is 60s pop. Great guitar work as always. Very few bands can set a mood with just the guitar the way fake problems does Going into this record, it seemed that myself and a lot of fans were concerned if this record would be as "fun" as previous releases. "Fun" is relative.

The album starts off with those great huge drums that were part of the intro/outro track of "its great to be alive" The guitar brings you in and almost makes you think of all those photographs you still look at to remember better times. This song reminds us that no matter how boring or stale our lives have become, we just have to keep going on. Fake problems is one of those bands to me that either comes off very heartfelt, or just cheesey . The blink 182 sense of humor and sound this band is rooted around is still there on the back burner, but they have something to say to you to let you know they mean business. "The television is waiting to save you. It would be nice to have a conversation. Tap tap your feet to your heart beat"

The next track "5678" to me, is the weak point of the record. To me it could be a really cool B-side to their previous full length. Sort of the same sound. Catchy, very dance-y. Not a personal favorite on the record, but still a good throw back.

Overall, on the whole record, the guitar and bass are really in sync together. Great hooks. The lead guitar once again sets a great mood. Really a reflective sounding tone with a great twist of 60s pop. Like youre having a conversation with an old friend over a bottle of something warm and cheap and remembering those drives you took when you were younger. The drives that lead to nowhere because you were young and had the time to appreciate things we tend to forget about as we get older.

That seems to be a theme Fake problems brings up a lot on this record. Sometimes its like hes looking in a mirror and hating who he sees in himself and all around because its not what he imagined. The song " The magazines" is a very downer lyrically. Tale of a friend you thought you knew so you stood up for only to realize they didnt care about you. Its a tough pill to swallow, but most of us have swallowed that time and time again.

On the track "Grand Finale" the songs starts off with the lyric " theres still hope for us" Interesting lyric considering the title. What is coming to a close? As so many records before its time, the answer is youth. Looking back at being young and all knowing and knowing it all went away, and the past is gone. The feeling we all come to terms with of not missing the past but being glad its gone forever is really close to home for me, and Im sure most people.

Like all of their records, Fake Problems saves the best for last. "Ghost to coast" is a raw and emotional look at how he is doing after a breakup. Being lost in himself at college and thinking everybody around him is fake, and wanting to give up on everything. It seems that most of the songs on this record deal with a let down in ones self, and people around you but keep going anyway. Its a bittersweet taste left on your tounge when this record is over, and the only remedy is a cigarette by yourself and listening to it all over again.

This record has many layers. It grows on me each time I listen to it. That good ol' Blink 182 sense of humor/wit they are known for, great pop hooks and melodies. But underneath all of that is a very honest look at ones self. Some may say this is not as "fun" as their last releases. As stated, depends on what you call fun. This records lyrics can be ignored(though not advised) and taken as a happy dance-y record. Or this record can be taken as something pure and honest in a time when most music is just gimmick-y. One of the most honest things Ive had the chance to hear in a while, and anybody looking for a friend to talk about that vacant spot on your bed where somebody special used to be can just put this record on, because this band said anything you were going to anyway

Overall rating:


Re-playing ability-