Airplanes - Silver Lining EP
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: June 10, 2010
Okay, let's be real for a minute. If you're over the age of 16 and still writing heart-on-sleeve lines like "I see your smile and it brightens my day, I totally mean that in a platonic way," you might as well hand the reins of lyric writing to another band member. Unfortunately its saccharine tokens of inanity like this that dot the EP Silver Lining by St. Louis band Airplanes.
Fronted by guitarist Sean Childs and vocalist Sarah Dalton, the group wades in the waters of Top 40 pop not unlike Avril Lavigne and Taylor Swift. Album opener "Sun," is resplendent, buoyant and more than ready for radio airwaves, while second cut "Hello," chases down arena-rock heights not unlike Heart or Paramore.
For the most part though the group sticks to acoustic-based fodder and allows Dalton to belt and strut her way through the entire thing. She's very capable and blessed with a stirring range, and that asset is what helps Silver Lining rise above. But then there's the words themselves. The summery "Flip Flops," partners some of the most atrocious lyrics since LFO, while "Stars and Moons," seems culled from the Miley Cyrus playbook. The driving rocker "I Love You," is as gooey as they come and "Useless," leans way too hard on Auto-Tune. By the time album closer "Talk to Me," rolls around, the energy to sit through it all is completely vacant.
And yet despite the absolutely inane lyrics, Silver Living is a damn fine EP. Bubbly cuts of singalong choruses, gauzy guitars and Sara's amiable vocals keeps the record from falling asunder. The production work is also strong and never once does the band sound like a group of amateurs fumbling their way through it all. To be fair, despite the shoddy lyrical terrain, there's plenty of moments on Silver Lining that rise and crest with an effortlessness that is quite startling. Despite their tumbles, there's still reason to think Airplanes might have a bright future.
Now if only we could do something about those lyrics.
Just listened to it. I think the problem I had with it was that nothing was remarkable. I would listen to a song, then go to the next one, and completely forget what the first song was. It just didn't hold my attention at all. I'll have to try tomorrow or later in the week again.