The White Tie Affair - Walk This Way
Record Label: Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: April 22, 2008
First things first- The White Tie Affair and Aerosmith have nothing whatsoever in common. Only because that was my first thought, I felt compelled to let you know right off the bat.
The White Tie Affair are a rock/pop/electronica band from Chicago (ring any bells?) that consists of Chris Wallace providing vocals, Sean P. and Ryan Hollywood on guitar, Ryan Cook with drums and Tim McLaughlin on the bass. The group of five is a surprisingly fresh addition to whatever scene it is you're thinking of. The White Tie Affair have been described as "a fusion of Timberlake and AFI working together to create pop for the PlayStation generation" by the Chicago Sun Times and they cite synth-pop band Hellogoodbye as one of their main influences.
The first track, "Mr. Right," blows the listener over with Wallace's vocals, and the retro-vibe. The chorus is probably the catchiest I've heard all year; the whole song is just a gianormous hook. "Scene Change" is almost like an RnB song with piano chords and choppy vocals in the verses. But by the time the chorus comes in, it's almost as if a different group of songwriters has taken over- though Wallace almost pushes his voice too high, it's still a big luxury for the ears.
Some songs, though, fall short- "The Enemy" is lyrically blah, and "Candle (Sick & Tired)" just hasn't grown on me yet. Throughout the whole album, the lyrics are not something to drool over (though they're not God-awful) and the musicianship isn't fantastic either, but that's probably a creative problem and not an issue with ability or talent. This band has a lot of potential, and hopefully they won't be afraid to branch out even more with their next release.