Album Review
PlayRadioPlay! - Texas Album Cover

PlayRadioPlay! - Texas

Reviewed by
PlayRadioPlay! - Texas
Record Label: Island Records
Release Date: March 18th, 2008
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
The most disappointing thing that can happen with a debut album is when it doesn't live up to the EP released beforehand. There's been numerous occasions where a band will put out an incredibly solid EP, which will then get people excited for their full-length. However, once the full-length finally arrives, fans are letdown. Whether it be lack of energy, overproduction or "demo-itis," the "sickness" that's been sweeping the scene for years, the listener is left with an album they feel is less than impressive.

Last year, one of my favorite albums of 2007 came in April, when PlayRadioPlay! released their first EP The Frequency. Not long after, Dan Hunter (PlayRadioPlay!) began working on his Island Records debut with big-time producers Garrett "Jacknife" Lee (U2, Snow Patrol, Bloc Party) and Lester Mendez (Shakira, Santana). Now, his highly anticipated full-length is finally here, and to say I'm pleased with it would be an understatement.

The track listing on Texas may seem familiar with earlier fans. Four of the songs have been released a few years back, back when Hunter would compose and produce his music all on his own. One of them, which happens to be the lead-off track to Texas is "Loco Commotion." The fast tempo opener does a great job drawing in the listener instantly. A strong opening track is always a much needed attribute for an album, especially for people who aren't familiar with the band they're listening to. Luckily for them, after hearing "Loco Commotion," all they'll want is more. In regards to the other remade songs ("Madi Don't Leave," "Without Gravity," "I'm a Pirate, You're a Princess"), each one has been completely changed around and put the originals to shame.

Production and musically-wise, Hunter has gone from using Logic Pro and Reason on his Mac in his garage to working with a full-band and Grammy award winning producer and it definitely shows. Each track contains more diverse instrumentation than anything he has ever done before. The most notable quality, and one of my favorite things about Texas is its flow. There isn't a second of silence in between tracks (thanks to its segues placed on the end of some of the songs) so the way each song goes into each other is outstanding and is just another reason why this album is so enjoyable. It's one of those albums that I need to listen to from start to finish, as it is not just an album with 12 songs, but an album with a necessity of having to be listened to as a whole to capture the full experience.

Although, with ups comes downs, and even though there's hardly anything I dislike about Texas, some of the lyrics at times are a bit questionable, but overall are acceptable. In "I'm a Pirate, You're a Princess," the line "you be the patient / I'll be the surgeon / just like first grade on the playground all day," adds somewhat of a cheesy-factor that may be a turn-off to some.

Sub par lyrics won't stop Texas from being a very big, potential success though. The album's first single "Madi Don't Leave" has the ability to blow up in the mainstream if marketed right. "Madi Don't Leave" is one of the stand-out tracks on Texas, as well as "See You Soon," and "My Attendance is Bad But My Intentions Are Good," which both hold melodies and choruses that will instantly be caught in your head. Another note-worthy song would be "Corner Office Bedroom," which starts off mellow only to lead up to a giant chorus. Despite being only 59 seconds long, the album closer "Texas" features the wonderful Ingrid Michaelson on vocals, which is a great way for this album to go out on. All in all though, I feel like each song on PlayRadioPlay!'s Texas is a stand-out track and it's surely an album that will be playing in my radio for months and months to come.

Additional InformationTrack Listing
01) Loco Commotion
02) I'm a Pirate, You're a Princess
03) Some Crap About the Furniture
04) Madi Don't Leave
05) Without Gravity
06) See You Soon
07) I'm Afraid There's a Hole in My Brain
08) More of the Worst
09) My Attendance is Bad But My Intentions Are Good
10) Corner Office Bedroom
11) Forgiveness, the Enviable Trait
12) Texas
Produced by: Garrett Lee, Lester Mendez, Dan Hunter

PlayRadioPlay! is:
Dan Hunter

Buy the album
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 66
07:53 PM on 03/14/08
User Info.
llmp's Avatar
Gave the myspace songs a shot even though this isn't my type of music. It only served to prove why.

Nonetheless, good review.
08:52 PM on 03/14/08
Registered User
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
glad this album wasnt a flop, will pick this up for sure.
good work Dan! hope this gets him attention.
11:34 PM on 03/14/08
Wondrous Oblivion.
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
I am waiting for this in the mail, and I can only say, I am glad to hear that is sounds good from someone already :)
04:44 AM on 03/15/08
User Info.
smoke4thecaper's Avatar
I just can't get into the whole synth/pop thing going on right now. It seems so cheesy to me.
07:31 AM on 03/15/08
Until The Bombs
User Info.
Until The Bombs's Avatar
"See you soon" is actually my least favorite song on the album, kinda suprised to see it listed amongst the best.

I just can't get into the whole synth/pop thing going on right now. It seems so cheesy to me.

If you listen to the album, it goes beyond that.
07:42 AM on 03/15/08
yes. yes. yes.
User Info.
Thug_Nasty's Avatar
I wonder if dan will come say something in here. Prolly
09:15 AM on 03/15/08
paint the fuck in grey
User Info.
ammar's Avatar
No mention of the 0.5 tracks?
09:27 AM on 03/15/08
Registered User
User Info.
blinkxpx17's Avatar
Music was Good, lyrics were awful... If your going to try to be Ben Gibbard, you have to at least write about something besides highschool, and Madi...
09:35 AM on 03/15/08
also ice cream.
User Info.
SteveLikesMusic's Avatar
Ben is a lot older than PRP. When you're young, the first album you write is going to have stuff about your younger years on it. Because that's your life.

Anyways, good review, i pretty much agree on everything.
09:56 AM on 03/15/08
User Info.
youngmountain's Avatar
i might have to pick this up, i really liked his demo stuff on myspace a few years back
10:00 AM on 03/15/08
User Info.
mattybobviously's Avatar
A good review from Joe, but after seeing scores here stay in check for quite some time, it's proves a bit ridiculous to give this a 90%. Certainly an improvement over his previous work, but to score it above so many other albums that have been reviewed here is laughable.
10:06 AM on 03/15/08
Joe DeAndrea
User Info.
Joe DeAndrea's Avatar
A good review from Joe, but after seeing scores here stay in check for quite some time, it's proves a bit ridiculous to give this a 90%. Certainly an improvement over his previous work, but to score it above so many other albums that have been reviewed here is laughable.

Well I'm not the one who reviews those albums so you can't really compare the scores of those albums that you think are better to the ones I review. Two completely different opinions coming from two different people.
11:00 AM on 03/15/08
on the edge of summer
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
really good album, i love it after the first 2 tracks.
11:10 AM on 03/15/08
User Info.
Clark's Avatar
I haven't gotten my preorder yet. :[

Search News
Release Dates
Best New Music
Submit News
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
Encore Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
Encore Podcast on iTunes
Encore on Overcast
AP.net on Tumblr
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate