The Girlfriend Season - Things That Fly (Part I)
Record Label – Unsigned
Release – March 26th, 2010
If The Stereo had been manufactured as some hand-picked boy band of the early 2000’s – O-town, I’m looking at you – , The Girlfriend Season is what you would find stocked on Best Buy shelves and made into collectible figurines. Strange mash-up of bands for comparison, I know, but give it a listen and maybe you’ll see what I mean.
With the opening track “Satellites”, The Girlfriend Season finds themselves side-by-side with the growing dance-rock bands of today’s scene, such as California’s Call The Cops. There is definitely a rock band at the heart of the music, but they’ve become so sugar-coated in auto-tune and bouncing beats that I feel I may have found myself at a high school (or perhaps even middle school) dance. There’s no doubt that these lyrics would best hit home with 14-year-old girls bubbling happily through the first stages of puppy love:
“So take my hand tonight
Baby it’s alright
I’ve got the perfect song that we can sing.
We can be anything.”
“Rocketship” has to be the most questionable of the songs on this disc. I can’t quite decide if this song is supposed to be taken seriously or was written as a fun jab to the mainstream pop. With repeated mentions of after-parties, rocketships, and paparazzi, I cannot bring myself to enjoy this song except in that ironic “This-is-so-ridiculous-how-can-they-possibly-be-serious” sort of way.
The Girlfriend Season redeem themselves with “You Gotta (Live While You’re Young)”, arguably the best song on the release. This is the closest the band comes to a pop-punk anthem. The vocals ring close to that of the long past but influential The Stereo, and the music and lyrics make for a great driving tune.
“Butterflies” is the sickeningly sweet trademark of pop songs of those boy bands of my preteen days. I almost want to gag at the glittery perfection of the song. Honestly, I had to stop once or twice to check that I wasn’t listening to O-town. The vocals have that smooth head-nodding melody and I almost feel that I should be snapping my fingers in time to the beat. Never mind the lyrics themselves:
“Girl, you gotta know
You’re the only one I’m thinkin’ of.
I’m sure it shows whenever you’re standing next to me.
You’re like an ocean breeze blowin’ into me.
You’re givin, you’re givin’ me
All in all, Things That Fly (Part I) is a decent collection of songs. While “You Gotta (Live While You’re Young)” hits that soft spot in my heart for anthemic pop-punk, I think the CD as a whole may be best appreciated by that 14-year-old girl looking for something a bit dance-y, something a bit rock-y, a bit happily-ever-after. It’s (literally) boy band pop for the new generation.
From my perspective, this is music I would have listened to in middle school/high school and I'm just relaying that message. I don't dislike the band. I'm just trying to represent my view on it. I'm not saying the music is bad, but that it's got this polished perfection to it that I relate to mainstream pop, rather than rock. It speaks to the hopeful 14-year-old in me, not the 21-year-old in me.
Holding back from near consumption/ Starving to cheap true religion jeans
taste ourselves/ And the sensation of an existence/ Feast for only the ones who are kings" By the time the first breakdown comes in, anybody should be able to understand that it's one of those albums.