Review Summary: The Audition manages to climb their way out of the wretched pit of excrement that was 'Self-Titled Album' and emerge better than ever
The Audition has always been one of 'those' bands. Never what you would call original, probably what you wouldn't call overly-talented, but enjoyable nonetheless. Normally I would term such a band a guilty-pleasure, but other than a minor hiccup (Self-Titled Album), The Audition have never been a bad band. On 'Great Danger' we find The Audition hitting their stride as musicians and providing their most mature release to date.
Say what you will about The Audition, but these guys can write a pop hook like few others. On 'Great Danger' The Audition have perfected their musical approach; short, concise songs, with fast-paced guitars and drums, and the ever important vocal hooks. Surely this isn't anything listeners haven't heard before, but few bands do so as well as The Audition. Leaving behind the sudden hormone surge that was 'Champion', lead singer Danny Stevens matures from his self-appointed title of sex idol and provides far improved lyrics from the bands earlier releases.
One can hardly speak about The Audition without mentioning Danny Stevens. Like any other band that adheres to such pop sensibilities, The Audition hinges almost entirely on their vocalist. Fortunately for them, Danny Stevens possesses not only a fairly unique and talented voice, but also an intrinsic vocal swagger and sense of style that demands the listeners attention. On 'Great Danger' his vocals are the best they've ever been. Stevens croons out chorus after catchy chorus doing what he does best: pop songs. The excellent "Let Me Know" and "Ms. Crumby" are testament to his skills behind the mic.
What of the rest of the band? While unfortunate to say, they pale in importance when compared to their fearless leader. This is not to say that the instruments are poor; Seth Johnson's ever impressive guitar work is the best it's ever been, the bass is decent at best, and the drumming leaves little to be desired. The problem is this: anyone else could have written this record. The problem with pop music is the distinct lack of originality. These are not poor musicians, they just fail to 'wow' the listener in any lasting way. Interesting to note, singer Danny Stevens utilizes keyboards on this record to occasionally provide songs with an almost club-esque dance beat, heightening the listeners awareness that this is truly a pop record.
The Audition aren't a band band, and 'Great Danger' isn't a bad record, but neither is truly great either. Perhaps the band is just held back by their style of music, how creative and groundbreaking can pop music be really? By tapping into a tried and true formula the Illinois natives have crafted the best release of their career to date. Honestly, 'Great Danger' is the best it could have been, The Audition manages to climb their way out of the wretched pit of excrement that was 'Self-Titled Album' and emerge better than ever, defying expectations to be sure. This record is enjoyable, no doubt about that, just don't go into it expecting too much and you should be pleasantly surprised.
Let Me Know
The Art of Living