Review Summary: Even if you Hated High School Musical, you probably still can enjoy this album....a lot.
I remember watching High School Musical a few years ago. Seeing/observing it as like the "hottest" thing for kids all ages alike. Some idiot in my high school brought it for our chorus class to watch. Never have I wanted to kill myself more when watching that....crap. Maybe I should back myself better for it but for the record-it sucked and I hated it.
When listening to The Morning Of "The World As We Know It". You'll notice how bizzarly similar the vocalists (Jessica Leplon, Justin Wiley) sound to the High School Musical leads (Zac Efron and Vanessa Anne Hudgens). I recall bumping into their myspace and listening to the song "Let You Spirit Soar". I was literally laughing because no matter how much they sounded alike: the song was really catchy, the band was solid, and those harmonies were..... just awesome.
So to bluntly put: The Morning of is nothing more than taking the vocalists of High School Musical and backing it (ironically) with a piano-rock-progressive band. And, the results make it quite an enjoyable album.
The album opens with an intro (Goodbye Gravity, Welcome Change). It's starts with a nice piano opening, but then.....a poem comes in. Your either gonna hate it or love it. Overall though the intro remains solid with the piano giving the atmosphere for the rest of the album.
The fun begins however right at the next song "Let Your Spirit Soar." The listener gets wacked with a dense deep and surprisingly heavy riff, they do tickle your ears with the rhythm because honestly when you first listen to it....you don't see it coming. Then we get to the first line "3 AM a boy sits outside his house lonely with his guitar."
From there on in your going to either (again) hate or love the lyrics for the rest of the trip. There are points that the lyrics are absolutely cheesy, but you can't deny how fun they can be. The chorus for "Let You Spirit Soar" will suck you in with those harmonies. For the most part: most of the songs have cheesy verses, but they build up to intense, super melodic, catchy choruses.
The music is absolutely superb with giving a catchy sound. A lot of the songs do have a similar sound with that piano-progressive-rock sound. However, the best songs are easily the ones where they branch out the most. "Smooth Sailing" goes into an R&Bish feel, with a "scat" bridge, it's easily one of the most fun moments in the album. "Shine" slows things down with a solo piano and Leplon/Wiley take charge to making the song quite mushy....but enjoyable. The biggest surprise comes with the following track "There's a Bully in the Park." The band boosts in an absurd hardcore sound, with heavy guitars and Jimmi Kane (drummer) throwing in some double bass.
It's no surprise but yea due to such "High School Musical" vocals.....the band's popularity is growing immensely (i.e Myspace friends.) Quite frankly, don't be surprised if you see them on the radio, or MTV or any of that major corporation media sometime in the upcoming months/years. It'll be interesting to see what the band does with their sound, since potentially the band does touch on some originality with at times two completely distinct styles and bringing them together. The Morning Of have a bright future ahead of them considering that they are all kids (ages 18-20). Hopefully, the band will branch out farther with their sound, because the band "truly shines" when they do.
Rating-3.5/5 Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/themorningofrock