Various Artists - Punk Goes Pop Volume 2
Record Label: Fearless Records
Release Date: March 10, 2009
They always said I’d grow up, but in between Binge Drinking Mondays and SaturLAZYdays - nicknames were never my thing - I shrugged them off. Apart from my liver I’m still 16. I will always be 16. F**k, is it 10:30 already? One more Seinfeld episode and it’s bedtime.
Ok, fine, maybe I am old. Maybe I’m, ugh, mature. Cases in point: I set my alarm so I won’t be late. I buy Diet Pepsi. I owe the government income taxes.
I pee sitting down.
I can no longer feign youth after hearing “in the name of fun” compilations like Punk Goes Pop Vol. 2. Don’t cry for me, though; cry for Fearless Records. They’re killing music and they don’t care. These compilations make Yoko Ono’s treachery look laughable, even benign. Hearing Escape The Fate slather Carlos Santana’s “Smooth” with teenage screams is like watching your parents have sex with your dog. Listening to August Burns Red sing - excuse me, growl - classic Britney Spears is disrespectful, even if their inspiration is an umbrella wielding, hair shaving lunatic.
Some will say this is all a joke and we shouldn’t judge “harshly.” But you see, Fearless Records is asking people to pay for Vol.2. For that we should expect quality. Some band named The Cab even wrote a blog about the terrible recording circumstances behind their cover of Rihanna’s “Disturbia.” Apparently, anything done in the name of Fun™ is exempt from any and all standards. Their singer said he could barely sing that day, so if nothing else he’s proved the usefulness of pitch-correction technologies. But I’ll shut up in an attempt to dodge a blog bullet from these musical masterminds - and just to save him the time: I’m fat, I don’t have a girlfriend, and I’m very, very stupid.
Unaware of punk’s new definition, I was blindsided by high-pitched singing and super masculine growling: A Static Lullaby, Alesana, Silverstein, et al. These bands are so similar it seems like false advertising to say “Various Artists” created Vol. 2. The rare bands that do sound different (at least in terms of this compilation), Bayside and There for Tomorrow, wind up with the biggest successes. Omarion’s hit “Icebox” gets an electronic-filled treatment by TfT, and Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful” is wonderfully recreated as a solo-heavy Bayside treat. Gasp! these covers actually sound thoughtful.
A Day To Strong and Four Year Remember pick two completely different songs, yet somehow make them sound exactly alike. ADTR’s take on “Over My Head (Cable Car)” might also be on Homesick, but there’s no way to be sure. Four Year Strong use a bit too much clean singing on Sara Bareilles’ “Love Song”, and only some expected-yet-satisfying gang vocals save the song.
The most depressing thing about this whole debacle is the songs chosen. Regardless of who’s singing, I don’t want to hear “When I Grow Up.” These musicians are about my age, so we grew up with the same pop hits. The fact that few of those were chosen - props to Chiodos for at least trying to think outside the box with “Flagpole Sitta” - shows how transparent Fearless’ motives have become. 14 year-old girls, eat your hearts out. Everyone else, blow your heads off.
a few tracks were alright enough to hear once through (There For Tomorrow, Bayside and Four Year Strong), but most too horrible to even sit all the way through (See either Britney Spears cover)...great review though
This is one of the worst reviews I've seen on here and that's not because I may or may not enjoy the album for what it's worth. It's because you make it seem like you never gave it a chance and judged it based on your notions of it before even hearing it. It was like I was reading Rolling Stone when they attempt to be clever.