Famous Like You – Feels so Good
Record Label: Self-Release
Release Date: August 14th, 2010
Feels So Good is the debut EP from Chicago pop-rockers Famous Like You. Having previously been locked in long-term record contract struggles, the band decided to change their name and start afresh, and this EP is the result.
On first listen, past problems couldn’t sound farther from the bands’ mind. Opener ‘Northern Lights’ introduces itself like the younger brother of Thirty Seconds to Mars’ ‘Closer to the Edge’ before truly announcing its arrival with a chorus that soars from the speakers. Vocalist Davey Carlson’s invitation to “two-step on the stars” is mirrored by the music, a bouncy beat begging the listener to get up out of their seat and dance along with the band. ‘Northern Lights’ makes for an anthemic and extremely catchy opening track, immediately demanding attention for the rest of the EP.
Unfortunately, the remaining 6 tracks never quite manage to hit the highs achieved on the opener. That’s not to say that there aren’t some very strong songs amongst them, however. Second track ‘Get a Little Crazy’ shakes and swings as much as its title would suggest, sounding like the perfect precursor to a night out on the town, whilst ‘Everything I Couldn’t See’ warns about the perils of staying in love via another hugely catchy chorus and choppy verses. Closing track ‘Wrong Side of the World’, a female-backed acoustic track in the vein of A Day to Remember’s ‘If It Means a Lot to You’, is so inoffensive with its catchiness that it could easily be used on a Disney soundtrack – it is up to the personal preference of the listener whether or not this is a positive!
Vocally, Carlson sounds like a mixture of New Found Glory’s Jordan Pundik and Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy fame. His clean-cut vocals are more than capable of carrying the multiple melodies found within, if a little samey over the course of 7 tracks. Indeed, lyrically the entire EP differs very little, all of the tracks dedicated to the various pros and cons of falling in love, providing a few lines sure to find popularity amongst a teen audience.
Lead guitar lines dive in and out on occasion, but the majority of the time the band play second fiddle to Carlson’s vocals, the main attraction to most of the songs to be found within the vocal melodies. This is no bad thing – the songs themselves are solid and, in not over-playing their hand musically, the band allow the melodies to stand out, lodging themselves in the listeners’ skull.
Every song on this EP contains at least one hook promising to have you singing along, at least until you hear the next one and do the same. A weakness of the tracks is that they begin to bleed into each other after a few lessons, none of the songs (bar the opener) really containing anything different to the rest that makes them stand out. That is, however, often part-and-parcel with this brand of pop-rock, and Famous Like You are certainly no guiltier of repetition than some of their peers. The band has crafted an incredibly catchy, solid EP, which deserves to earn them many more fans and anticipation for their next release. On this showing they certainly have command of a very keen ear for a hook – if they can maintain this, Famous Like You should see a very bright future.