Monday, May 07, 2007

USA Album Review

At one point in musical history, the term pop music wasn’t necessarily a derisive label – the Beatles were pop. Through the years, as music became more and more formulaic, the term came to take on the meaning of material that was essentially crap – Britney Spears is pop. Side note: I think it’s no accident that Britney’s initials are BS.

Enter The View. Four kids from Dundee, Scotland and when I say kids, I mean youngins! The average age of the quartet (bassist Kieran Webster, lead guitarist Pete Reilly, lead singer Kyle Falconer, and drummer Steve Morrison) is a very tender, 19. Sometimes age and supposed inexperience can work against a band. I would say in this case, it’s a promise of the best is yet to come. But man, how good it is right now. Their debut album, Hats Off to the Buskers is set to drop May 8 in the United States with it already being released in the U.K. January 22.

Not only do I encourage you to get a copy, I encourage you to be at the record store at midnight on the 8th to be the first one on your block with a copy.

Hats off to the Buskers is what a pop album should be; full of hooks, bright melodies, catchy lyrics, and just a rollicking damn good time from start to finish. Someone else said it perfectly, The View are about three minute power-pop explosions of controlled mania!

Most albums I listen to get the Charlie Brown test; this of course needs a bit of explanation.

In the old Charlie Brown cartoons, invariably there would be one scene where all the kids were dancing. There was that one little kid that would bop his head from shoulder to shoulder in time to the music, that’s me. If an album makes me tap my foot and bounce my head from shoulder to shoulder then it’s on to something. Hats Off to the Buskers gave me a wonderful neck cramp I was bouncing my head to the music so much.

This isn’t the type of pop that’s like cotton candy, sweet for a second and then it dissolves leaving your teeth gritty. The album doesn’t stop, it’s infectious. I woke up one morning singing the lyrics to the breakout single from the album, “Same Jeans” as I made the morning coffee.

“I’ve had the same jeans on for four days now / I’m gonna go to a disco in the middle of the town / Everybody’s dressing up, I’m dressing down,” sings lead vocalist Kyle Falconer with a voice that was made for rock-n-roll.

This album will get into your head and stay there - all of the songs are as catchy, I couldn’t find a dud on the entire album. I only have one criticism of the album and truly it’s a matter of personal opinion in regards to flow. I would have made track 8, “Wasted Little DJ’s” the albums opener. How nit-picky is that?!

Beyond being my favorite track on the album, “Wasted Little DJ’s” is a truly majestic cut. From the opening crescendo of guitars to the final driving drums and incantation of “It’s the latest, it’s the latest thing,” the song truly is majestic in scope and REALLY gets to what, I feel, The View is all about.

With summer fast approaching, I think it’s no exaggeration to think that The View will be THE summer band of 2007 with hopefully a long career ahead of them. Like I said, these guys are young, so as they mature in age and their craft, the sky is their only upper bound.

Benjamin Cossel, BC Music, USA, May 6th, 2007


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