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Summer Set, The - What Money Can't Buy EP Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals N/A
Musicianship N/A
Lyrics N/A
Production 0.25
Creativity 0.25
Lasting Value 0.25
Reviewer Tilt 0.25
Final Verdict: 3%
Member Ratings
Production 9.5
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 9
Average: 86%
Inside AP.net

Summer Set, The - What Money Can't Buy EP

Reviewed by: Joe DeAndrea (11/28/11)
The Summer Set - What Money Can't Buy EP
Record Label: Razor & Tie Records
Release Date: October 28th, 2011


'Tis the season for giving, but that's exactly what The Summer Set has been doing the entire year. The pop-rock 5 piece is still fresh off their mid-2011 sophomore release, Everything's Fine, but that didn't stop them from heading into the studio to record a new holiday EP, What Money Can't Buy. Short but sweet, What Money Can't Buy are three Christmas songs compiled together for no other reason but to help others, as all of the proceeds gained from the "pay what you want" EP will be donated toward the Toys for Tots Foundation. With all of the scurrying for three dollar Black Friday hair straighteners, The Summer Set show what the holiday season is really about, essentially restoring a bit of magic back into Christmas in the process.

The Summer Set were never one to do things the conventional way. As far as What Money Can't Buy's content goes, the band strays from a predictable collection of Christmas cover songs that are done to death, and give a unique, yet natural take on originals instead. Amongst the originals consist of the acoustic duet, "Old Mexico." "Old Mexico," though oddly titled, has as much of a Christmas feel as possible and features guest female vocals from a childhood friend of guitarist John Gomez. Her verse and spot in the chorus end up complementing front man Brian Dales beautifully, as both voices are a bit unorthodox in general. The Summer Set could have easily enlisted a singer of a higher caliber, but their decision was based on who would sound best; not what would end up more popular. That alone shows the true genuine nature behind the project, and "Old Mexico" ends up being one of The Summer Set's best songs to date.

Additionally, Dales' vocals as a whole seem to continue to get better every time he's in the studio, further proven with "Something 'Bout This Time of Year." A song originally written by Mike Daly of the band Whiskeytown, Dales & Co. have no problem giving the track a typical Summer Set feel, adding a pristine upbeat and poppy nature to it -- much in contrast to the alternative-country sound that Whiskeytown has. Also included is "Love On Our Side," which isn't entirely new. While sounding most similar to "Something 'Bout This Time of Year," the track was featured back in 2008 on the band's EP, Meet Me on the Left Coast. Left untouched and still in its original state, it's still a solid song and a treat for fans who may not have known about it previously.

The only possible gripe that exists about What Money Can't Buy is the fact that it's not a full album, as The Summer Set has truly mastered the holiday feel ... but that's far from anything worth complaining about. The idea itself is a completely selfless act and you've got to admire the band's willingness to lend a hand to those in need. That said, with this EP, The Summer Set is clearly dominating every season of the year. Everything's Fine was a prime inclusion of the summer's listening rotation, and What Money Can't Buy will surely be something to surround yourself with while you sit by the fire with friends and family.


Additional InformationTrack Listing
01) Something 'Bout This Time of Year
02) Love On Our Side
03) Old Mexico
Produced by: Cory Spotts

The Summer Set is:
Brian Dales - vocals
Josh Montgomery - guitar
John Gomez - guitar
Stephen Gomez - bass
Jess Bowen - drums

Facebook - @the_summer_set
 
Displaying posts 1 - 11 of 11.
11:38 AM on 11/28/11
#2
Passion Man
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I was excited until you said it was a holiday EP. I'll probably skip this.
12:46 PM on 11/28/11
#3
Joe DeAndrea
Radiosurgery
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I was excited until you said it was a holiday EP. I'll probably skip this.
Worth a listen at their bandcamp site at least.
07:40 AM on 11/29/11
#4
brandon_260
Ah, yes.
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I really enjoyed this. I've liked everything they put out, but their latest album didn't have much lasting value past the first couple weeks. I hope this one lasts long enough for the holidays.
08:06 AM on 11/29/11
#5
gameguru990
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I thought Brian sounded weaker than usual, but I wasn't really giving it my full attention. I'll give it another shot based on this review.
08:11 AM on 11/29/11
#6
MyMindIsASafe
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Sucks that it's only 2 new songs, but I think these will go on a holiday mix CD for sure. Good review.
01:03 PM on 11/29/11
#7
DemBitties
I ended up as food for wolves
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I was excited until you said it was a holiday EP. I'll probably skip this.

02:57 PM on 11/29/11
#8
justbradley
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I used to be a big fan of this band, but I kinda fell off after their debut record. It didn't strike me as anything memorable. This might be worth checking out, though. I love holiday music, so I might have to give it a listen. And hey, they're giving the proceeds to a good cause. That's definitely a good thing.
04:23 PM on 12/01/11
#9
Moses Malone
And nothing of value was lost
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lol, -3%.
10:08 AM on 12/03/11
The Gryphonator
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Honestly, the only reason I'm reading this is because I thought someone got a -3% and the review was gonna be hilarious.

Disappointed. :(
07:46 PM on 12/18/11
TZE
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I used to be a big fan of this band, but I kinda fell off after their debut record. It didn't strike me as anything memorable. This might be worth checking out, though. I love holiday music, so I might have to give it a listen. And hey, they're giving the proceeds to a good cause. That's definitely a good thing.

yea same here.
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