Album Review
Spontaneo - For Those Who Can Whistle Album Cover

Spontaneo - For Those Who Can Whistle

Reviewed by
Spontaneo - For Those Who Can Whistle
Record Label: Modern Short Stories
Release Date: June 29, 2010
Developing genuinely good pop rock is a lot like trying to successfully write a genuinely funny film. The sheer notion seems relatively easy, generating a basic formula to a mass audience, however everyone's ear has a different sense to catch what rhythm effortlessly flows through before appearing to try too hard to get a laugh. In this case, it's hitting the right melodic note to catch a listener's ear, and for Spontaneo's debut full-length, the jokes just aren't as pungent as one might like in order to keep the laughs from dwindling.

Spontaneo can't seem to find their footing, dancing between the sarcastically charming bravado of Ludo with the goofy wit of Motion City Soundtrack. At their best, the charm of songs like "Bad Weather" slowly find their placement by keeping a solid groove that mixes Relient K charisma with Ludo-esque self-deprication. The problem is, once the band gets into the meat of their comedic plot, the audience is too busy wondering when all the good jokes are coming in.

Replace the idea of "jokes" with "melody" and you'll understand the lost potential here. For Those Who Can Whistle is full of zip and zest, yet fails to sling enough arrows into the bullseye to keep attention from draining. The production (courtesy of Punchline's Steve Saboslai) suits them exceptionally well, however it's the ambitious quality of tempo-shifting pop lullabies that get bogged down by never truly seeing where they are going. "A Map and A Car" appears to be a mismatched ironic title to an otherwise peppy track and "Losing a Limb" is two-and-a-half minutes without a real hook. There are signs of life poking their heads out from within these tracks; they just get caught in the updraft between lapses of pop-rock's bread & butter: mind-boggling, ear-rattling, get-the-f***-outta-my-damn-head hooks that can melt an ice cream cone from 50 feet away.

"Mayday, Mayday" is blissfully bewitching and "My Valentine" swaps cliche nods to Cupid for an abundance of pure affection. The peril of it all is that the highlights are scattered, and many times, tracks take on new lives that blend into their predecessors. It can be difficult to distinguish some from the next, and while there is absolutely no denying that a band like Spontaneo can make this sort of stuff be magic, it all comes off as a group of musicians searching for an identity. Truth is, the shorter songs make for tighter cuts that immediately work best at this level. As Spontaneo begins to make some headway, they can go for ambition (see: any of Ludo's first EPs). For now, keep it simple and win 'em over with something that makes 'em want more.

Buried under the clutter, there's a goldmine of material waiting to make us laugh (in a good way, obviously). For now, we're unfortunately whistling a different tune.

Recommended if You LikePunchline's Action; Ludo's You're Awful, I Love You; Motion City Soundtrack's Even If It Kills Me
Choice Cuts"Bad Weather," "My Valentine" and "Mayday, Mayday"

Online VitalsOfficial Myspace | Official Facebook
PurchaseiTunes | Amazon MP3
This review is a user submitted review from smoke4thecaper. You can see all of smoke4thecaper's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 7 of 7
08:16 AM on 01/24/11
Registered Vegan
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uglystar03's Avatar
I'm glad to see this album reviewed. For the most part, I have to agree with the review. They definitely show potential, but it is missing a little something. However, the video for Bad Weather is really good. It's what got me to purchase the album.

09:10 AM on 01/24/11
I feel so L.M.N.O.P.
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josh8282's Avatar
Spot on review.
10:23 AM on 01/24/11
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bobsheiskawy's Avatar
i agree. as much as i enjoy listening to the album, there's just something that's keeping them from being great. while some songs are above average, the album on the whole is just par for the course.
01:40 PM on 01/24/11
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Ultimately, this is a young band finding their footing. Straight forward power pop isn't exactly in fashion these days, so kudos to them for honing their craft so early in their career and not just churning out brainless pop punk. Foutains of Wayne would be proud.
06:06 AM on 01/25/11
I was born a wise man
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smoke4thecaper's Avatar
Ultimately, this is a young band finding their footing. Straight forward power pop isn't exactly in fashion these days, so kudos to them for honing their craft so early in their career and not just churning out brainless pop punk. Foutains of Wayne would be proud.
I can drink to that. Well said.
03:12 PM on 01/25/11
Gabe Bravo
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akster's Avatar
I enjoyed this album. Favorite track is "Moon's Half Full". I'm looking forward to hearing more from them.

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