Holiday Parade – Tickets & Passports
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: April 7, 2009
Despite appearances, I am not a hater. I have a thirst for love. So when Holiday Parade held an AP.net chat and totally kicked ass with fans and critics alike, I immediately got warm fuzzies. The chance to hear another promising band still holds a magical grip over me. Though some call AP.net’s rating system bloated, each score over 85% is another opportunity for awe and amazement. Holiday Parade had me (pop) hook, line and sinker. They had me chasing right along with the fervor of a stalker. I told my roommates last night, “I’ll be upstairs discovering my new favorite band.” Thirty-eight minutes later I crept out of my room, grizzled and tired. I had not found my favorite band. I had found something much, much worse.
It’s hard to say who went more wrong, Holiday Parade or me. Why I thought their Cartel-ish style and Kidz Bop lyricism sounded appealing is something I still can’t explain. Even more inconceivable is the fact that Tickets & Passports was written and recorded by grown men. Holiday Parade awakened a negative beast within me because of their cheesy handclap singalongs (“Forever”) and startlingly similar piano rock (“Getaway” and “Time For Me”). “Getaway” would be a good opener due to its male-female harmonization and synthesized strings, but the track inexplicably ends with sing-speaking of the lines: “Late nights burnt out in bars / We live our lives like falling stars / The way I see it we’ve come so far / And hey, I might stay / Step back to where we were / Feels like 10,000 years before / The moment that you shut the door / I’d say, How ‘bout we get away.” I mean, context counts for everything, but there’s no saving such triteness.
When Holiday Parade let loose and wail the results are usually positive (“Turn It Up” and, at times, “Change My Mind”). Make no mistake, despite his lyrical flaws, Andy Albert can really sing. His soft tenor channels emotion well, especially in 6-minute closer “Tickets & Passports.” But more often than not he is forced to take backseats to the less-than-noteworthy playing of his band members (see the Nine Days-esque “Where Did I Go”). His ability to go fast without losing any melody should be exploited. Instead, Albert tries his hand at whistle-laden, acoustic clichés (“Look Out Below (This Love)”) and halfhearted odes to the admirable qualities of Andrew McMahon (“Southern Skies”).
I understand how and why Holiday Parade garnered a fanbase. Tickets & Passports offers inviting, mindless music perfect for pre-teens and really drunk college students. But if I were to put the top down with Holiday Parade playing, it’d only be for the purpose of drowning out the monotony. There’s no doubt Holiday Parade will pick up a fan or ten with Tickets & Passports. If they rev up the tempo and let Albert be the star he so clearly is, the next jump in popularity will be exponentially more successful.
Recommended If You Like:Cartel, Jack's Mannequin, unsweetened chocolate, The Maine, dry roasted peanuts
I've done my best to get into them, and a few songs here and there have been decent. But the lyrics here are painful and honestly, I feel like I just sucked down a huge helping of frosting when I hear this; I feel rotten and bloated.
Great review, Blakester -- really hit the nail on the head with this one. Don't understand all the praise from some members for this, because I find it worse than some of the other pop-rock that floats through and gets ripped on.
most of the songs are flat and way to cheesy idk. i was really looking forward for this one by the hype they were given and for theyre previous Ep, was decently promising. really dissapointing, i just cant get into this one.