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Higher, The - It's Only Natural Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 4.5
Musicianship 3.5
Lyrics 1.5
Production 6
Creativity 3.5
Lasting Value 0.75
Reviewer Tilt 2.5
Final Verdict: 32%
Member Ratings
Vocals 3.06
Musicianship 2.9
Lyrics 1.67
Production 2.23
Creativity 1.6
Lasting Value 1.63
Reviewer Tilt 1.02
Average: 20%
Inside AP.net

Higher, The - It's Only Natural

Reviewed by: Blake Solomon (06/15/09)
The HigherIt’s Only Natural
Record Label: Epitaph Records
Release Date: June 23, 2009


I’ve got no surprises for you here. Creative attempts at explaining my disgust for It’s Only Natural ended in overwhelming failure.

I almost feel obligated to applaud The Higher’s aspirations of becoming the biggest Boy Band in the world since my tastes tend to match the band’s pop attitude: Jesse McCartney is a personal hero. Underdog Alma Mater and Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop receive regular spins. I even enjoy assaulting underage girls just as much as the next Jack Barakat. So forgive the lazy idiocy in a statement like, “The Higher suck because they make bad music.” But basically that’s all I have. Stop reading if you’re busy, there are no decent jokes in the ensuing paragraphs.

Sure, pasty-white-guy Seth Trotter’s scratchy voice lacks any and all Robin Thicke sexiness. And yes, Duug Fresh’s percussion is nowhere near as dynamic as the hip-hop gods he worships. Sadly those are but two of the many problems keeping It’s Only Natural on a peg much lower than the Star Is Dead EP or even Histronics. I’m glad I brought those albums up (I rule!), though, because it’s important to note that this isn’t that band anymore. I hesitate to call The Higher’s new electronic route a cash grab, and I also think the band’s transparency is endearing. (The press release even states, “If Justin Timberlake were a band, he’d be The Higher.”)

Bands evolve and change all the time. It’s just unfortunate that The Higher settled upon a genre in which they have no hope of success. In fact, I am still struggling to find the “R&B” influences on It’s Only Natural. Mostly I just hear simplistic pop-rock (“Burn And Turn”), strange nods to old Panic! At The Disco (the second half of “Scandalous”) and a by-the-numbers cover (Ne-Yo’s “Closer” inexplicably ends the album). Or maybe it’s not so “inexplicable” that It’s Only Natural ends with a cover, because the album’s horrifying lack of creativity might point to The Higher’s next reincarnation: Karaoke All Stars. I can picture it now: For the measly sum of 10 dollars you can hear Seth Trotter and Jason Centeno whiteguyatize “Bonnie & Clyde 2004.” Want to hear “Coconut” By Harry Nilsson? Hope you like it with synthesizers!

It appears ex-guitarist Tom Oakes left just in time. His new project, More Amor, is what The Higher wish to become: a pleasant mixture of pop music and electronica. The Higher should ditch the traditional rock instruments altogether if they’re going to take this path any further; “Try Again” is a boring AAR ripoff and “It’s Only Natural” was clearly written by a half-asleep Maroon 5. The Higher have lost the emotion that initially drew people to them. Instead there are 12 futile attempts at Top-40 fodder littered throughout It’s Only Natural. Perhaps taking the last soul-crushing step is necessary: hire Estelle and let her write the band a song about supa fly shoes (or something, whatever). The Higher’s synthesizer IQ just isn’t good enough to hit it big in our current musical market. “Story Of A Man Obsessed” uses annoyingly ringtone-esque blips and “Play With Fire” is trance for toddlers. Maybe the band will figure itself out, but self-reflection time is quickly running out. Pop radio is not a medium willing to overlook age. Talent? Maybe. But age? No way.


Recommended If You Like: More Amor, Cartel + a DJ, false optimism, Panic! At The Timberlake, days without sun


Crazy over insanitywww.myspace.com/thehigher
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 119
11:02 PM on 06/15/09
#2
hcky0819
Are'nt you a stalker?
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was a somewhat of a fan back when Histrionics came out, but... i have lost any words to describe the garbage they now put out. what a shame.
11:12 PM on 06/15/09
#3
WhoSaidThat?
twitter.com/TiredOfSeth
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Good review. I've yet to catch the album (did it stream?), so it looks like I'll be in for a disappointment. But who knows. Again, great review, Blake. I may alone, but I found humor in the "ensuing paragraphs". Again, good stuff, dude.
11:12 PM on 06/15/09
#4
jeremyc
it was my only wish to rise
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one time i had sex with this girl who loved the higher. worst experience ever.
11:29 PM on 06/15/09
#5
doppelganger
katy song
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one time i had sex with this girl who loved the higher. worst experience ever.
haha.

but dang. this album got a lower rating than i would have expected
12:00 AM on 06/16/09
#6
Keagan Ilvonen
@KeaganIlvonen
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It's lower than a loss for words! Watch out Blake!!!!
05:16 AM on 06/16/09
#7
Kobrakai09
Yeah, this is love.
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Quote:
RIYL: Panic! At The Timberlake

Haha
06:28 AM on 06/16/09
#8
JamesLado
www.myspace.com/jamesladonj
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this album is soo terrible.
i was expecting so much more but they went with an nsync vibe which is really lame.
06:31 AM on 06/16/09
#9
JamesLado
www.myspace.com/jamesladonj
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Good review. I've yet to catch the album (did it stream?), so it looks like I'll be in for a disappointment. But who knows. Again, great review, Blake. I may alone, but I found humor in the "ensuing paragraphs". Again, good stuff, dude.
no but it did leak. you'll be able to find it a bunch of places on the internet,
07:51 AM on 06/16/09
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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The balloon of excitement has popped.
I now want to stay as far away from this disc as possible.
Thanks for the warning!
08:01 AM on 06/16/09
zubinmoosa
Tonight I'm Burning Star IV
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Sweet Lasting Value score haha
08:40 AM on 06/16/09
jusscali
EMO REVIVAL IS FOR BITCHES
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Agree with everything you say. I would even give it a lower score than 32. With this release and the few songs release from ATL new record, I think I'm actually beginning to loathe pop music
08:43 AM on 06/16/09
derian2219
Whose baby is that?
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At least the production was slightly above average.
08:46 AM on 06/16/09
deezee
geekrevolt.com
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Whoa haha lowest score I've seen on here.
08:47 AM on 06/16/09
zachff
deadformat.net/tradelist/zachff
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That's really too bad. I enjoyed some songs off their first two CD's but haven't listened to them in a while. After this review I'll be sure to stick to the old (kinda) faves
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