Faber Drive - Can't Keep a Secret
Record Label: 604 Records
Release Date: November 10, 2009
It can be said that we are being repeatedly bombarded with the overflow of power-pop, pop-punk, and electro-pop bands out there. Thankfully, once in a while, one of these bands drops an album so groundbreaking and edge cutting; it blows its genre completely out of the water. However, it is safe to say that Can't Keep a Secret is not one of them.
I first came across this British Columbian foursome a few years ago, when they released their first album Seven Second Surgery. I was very impressed with the substance of some of their songs, and loved the fact that they were not like every other pop-punk band out there, even with the radio play they got. This is why when I first heard their new single "G-Get Up and Dance" from their new album, I was both shocked and appalled.
Faber Drive seemed to have abandoned the light pop-rock style which has gained them their Canadian fans. Instead, they have traded it in for a cookie-cutter sound sounding like a watered-down Cash Cash, and trying to pursue the sounds of All Time Low and Cute is What We Aim For. Can't Keep A Secret is chock full of bland electronic beats, sprinkled into their songs.
The album starts of reasonably well with "The Payoff". Although the chorus and drums sound generic, it's a cute, catchy song about their career. That is, until it got slightly cocky in the second verse. "G-Get Up and Dance" is the song I love to hate and hate to love. No doubt it has mainstream appeal, but the electronic-dance-pop style completely ruined their image for me. Good for them for topping the Canadian charts though, even though they came pretty close to sounding like fellow Canadian band Stereos (shudder)."You And I Tonight" is reminiscent of their previous work, an acoustic ballad and "I'll Be There" is another mediocre pop song.
"Give Him Up" had the potential to be a great song, before it was ruined by the cheesy electronics. With that said, it was a good choice to use as a single, and I can understand its mainstream appeal. "Our Last Goodbye" is no lyrical masterpiece, with the chorus repeating every five words three times. It's remotely catchy, like the rest of the album. There was a subtle attempt to sound a slightly punk however."Lucky Ones" is a heavier ballad with a great set of lyrics. Dave Faber's vocals are nicely showcased in this song. "Forever" is boring and generic. "Never Coming Down" is a catchy pop song about escaping. "Just What I Needed" is an attempt at sounding like a legitimate pop-punk band but the lyrics, guitar, electronics and beats still fail to impress me.
Love it or hate it, Faber Drive definitely knows how to play to the masses and the direction they are going for has brought them commercial success. I may be in the minority, but I still think it's a damn shame they have to compensate their success for the bland, typical drivel polluting the music industry at the moment. On the bright side, even though they had traded in their sound, the catchiness and poppy-ness of Can't Keep a Secret will appeal to the mainstream and it is guaranteed them tons of radio play, new fans, and longevity.
It has to be said that there comes to a point in almost every bands career where they must choose to stay true to their roots, and try to gain new fans while keeping old ones; or severing these roots, and going down the mainstream road, while gaining plenty of fans. Faber Drive chose to do the latter, and while I'm sure there are plenty of old fans who love their new sound, and I may be one of the few who misses Seven Second Surgery. Thank you mainstream; for claiming and devouring another band.