Tickle Me Pink - Madeline
Record Label: Wind-Up
Release Date: July 1, 2008
Growing up on pop-punk, it’s been quite interesting to see how the genre has developed over the past couple years. The first time I listened to albums like Forty Hour Train Back to Penn and Save the World, Lose the Girl, I was drawn in by the simple nature of the music, the angst-ridden lyrics against the opposite sex, and the overall enthusiasm the live shows provided. As the years passed and the bands I once knew to hold my anthems came and went, I paid less and less attention to the new crop, instead moving onto different styles of music and coming back to pop-punk every so often as a guilty pleasure. Recently, I’ve been kind of disappointed in the genre, as it seems to be more of a style and a trend rather than about the music itself. Hailing from Denver, Tickle Me Pink's debut album Madeline was what made me realize there are still some bands out there doing things like they used to.
Madeline opens with the radio single “Typical,” a catchy tune about (what else?) love that’s falling apart, with the chorus of "You can't play me like that / It’s a matter of fac / You’re nothing more then a typical whore / I won't be your fool"; it's easy to see how standard the lyrics are, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Lead singer Sean Kennedy’s voice has something unique about it, between the pitch and the slight raspy quality that just makes it irresistible to turn away from, and it’s that aspect alongside the energy felt throughout this record that Kennedy & crew bring to the table that makes Tickle Me Pink so appealing.
As the album progresses, standouts include “The Lush Life,” “Madeline” (which has deep personal aspects, as Kennedy says it represents the way friends throughout life has gone off the deep end, and a lack of personal impact could have been a little more positive), "We’re Not Alone" and “Go Die” (my personal favorite). The entire album manages to bring in a variety of well-crafted music, and never seems to get old; I found myself tapping my foot as each song started, singing along with Kennedy. Ending with a ballad exploring the effects of suicide, “Tomorrow’s Ending” leaves a desire for more and the promise of growth with an anticipated follow-up.
Madeline is a strong debut with a definite promise of more good to come, and shows much potential for growth as artists. Tickle Me Pink bring an energy that separates them from the blandness of everything else these days, vocals that have true standout appeal to them (not unlike bands such as Eve 6 and Third Eye Blind), and lyrics that (mostly) everyone can relate to. Madeline is fine addition to any music collection -- this is a group of musicians throwing some color into a scene that’s become dull and gray. Give it a listen, as Tickle Me Pink may just tickle your fancy too.