Review Summary: Wide Eyed is a bland below-average pop-punk album with boring off key vocals, and mediocre instruments that ultimately put you to sleep.
2005 was the year of Victory, or actually, the failure of Victory records. Victory signed a huge quantity of mediocre pop-punk bands onto the label in high hopes that the teenage listeners would soak up every band they advertise. Well, this somewhat worked for Victory, but not with all the bands. One of these unsuccessful bands, of course, was The Junior Varsity. Even with all the advertising on TV on those Victory commercials, and all the video games Victory featured The JV in, The JV never became a hit band, and for good reason.
So let's get into the album. First off, the most common mistake of almost every band these days, is the repetition. Even though this is a common flaw, The Junior Varsity seems to falter especially bad on this aspect. I honestly can only tell these songs apart by the different lyrics, which are bland, not meaningful, and repetitive like the music.
The instrumental talent in this band is barely enough to acknowledge. The guitars play simple repeating riffs throughout all of the songs, the bass guitar is barely existent, and the drums are your simple beats that anyone who can keep a rhythm can play. When I first heard that The JV had keyboards, synths, and even a saxophone, I was interested to see how this would sound in a pop-punk band. Unfortunately, these instruments are hardly played throughout Wide Eyed and are not memorable in the least when they are played.
The singing performed by Asa Dawson is not impressive at all, either. I highly doubt this singer ever took any courses in choir or any form of vocal training. Many times throughout this CD, his voice is off key and is always good at retaining a nice boring feeling that puts you to sleep.
One thing I noticed about Wide Eyed is that the songs usually start out sounding like they have some really good potential, with a catchy riff or synth line, but that all falls down a slippery slope in a black hole of more dreariness and those catchy opening riffs and lines aren't even played throughout the rest of the songs.
The only track that slightly stood out from the rest was "Mad for Medusa", which was unique and fun to listen to with its synth lead and poppy guitars, and a few lines that may even get stuck in your head from time to time. Everything else as previously stated is just so plain boring, and made up of such simple and uncatchy riffs and lines.
Wide Eyed may not be a great album, or maybe not even a good one, but some fans of pop-punk may find some enjoyment out of this CD. Wide Eyed does have a sort of unique sound, and sometimes it's a nice CD to listen to and relax, but it's just not good enough to meet any standards. I only recommend this album for those who are die-hard Victory fans, love monotonous music, or need a lullaby, but, for some people, something about this album really does click with them. So before you completely write them off, listen to a song. Then when you realize that it sucks, write them off.