Review Summary: "Here's To You - Criticize My Darlings. Are You Satisfied?"2 of 2 thought this review was well written
The best word to describe what Breathe Carolina have brought with their new record is confidence. Where It’s Classy, Not Classic was a teen sex romp, Hello Fascination is a dance record fueled by glistening synthesizers and enough clever lines to punch Pete Wentz and his Decaydance followers in the face. Fortuitous are the core-kids who have been yearning for the duo, composed of David Schmitt and Kyle Even, to bring something a bit more thought-through than their previous releases. Clearly the step taken from GarageBand to a full recording studio have benefited Breathe Carolina in a way that their fans can truly appreciate.
Before any input is made on the record as a whole, the focus should first be given to one song. “Tripped and Fell in Portland” is a song that I was not expecting from a band that, to my knowledge, did not use any guitar instrumentation on their EP or first full-length. Initially, the chugging resembles any A Day to Remember track, then progresses into an obvious Breathe Carolina song. It would seem a feat to use electric guitar in a dance track and to have it be believable, but the duo manages. The hook of the chorus drips with sing-ability and the lyrics are pristinely positive. Here we have a duo, known for making dance beats, that have done something actually creative - not groundbreaking - but creative.
Sexuality has been a lyrical staple of Breathe Carolina’s tunes since their origination but it is not necessarily the foundation upon which this record is settled. Every song on It’s Classy, Not Classic was either about having sex, getting ready for sex, or being a typical, inexperienced teen about sex. Hello Fascination seems to offer a bit more creativity. “Take Me to Infinity,” for instance, seems to be about exploration - a tour of a moon-lit city on a synthesizer, perhaps. The effects used in this song particularly are dizzying and yet satisfying at the same time. The lead up to the final chorus caps the anticipation level.
Back to the sex; the song titles are evidence enough that it’s still there. “Dressed to Undress,” “I Have to Return Some Videos,” “The Dressing Room,” “Can I Take You Home?” all have obvious sexual connotations. “My Obsession” starts out with a tapping beat resembling a hip-hop track, but then David Schmitt lightly sings “And this is my last to chance to ask for permission / and this condition can’t be fixed with a prescription” before the main choruses starts to swing. The lyrics are shaky at best, and the song somewhat fails at being a standout track, but it is not an entire failure. “Velvet” is possibly the most sexually-forward song on the record. The word “sex” itself is used through the entire ordeal.
“Rescue” is the final track on the record and is certainly an interesting closer. The song seems to lyrically make peace with the fact that the record, somewhat lackluster altogether, is ending despite having enough dance tracks to be mixed for a week by any DJ. To be honest, it is a good slow song, but that’s really all it is.
Hello Fascination is a record for those already fans of Breathe Carolina. There is no leap of transition as great as the one from Underoath’s They’re Only Chasing Safety to Define the Great Line, and nothing quite as uniquely departing as the shift from AFI’s The Art of Drowning to Sing the Sorrow. All in all, it is a good dance-pop record that any college girl will love and any kid that frequents the regulars - The Devil Wears Prada, A Day to Remember, A Skylit Drive, Emarosa - will certainly enjoy.
Album is streaming @ myspace.com/breathecarolina