The Summer Set
Everything's Fine


2.5
average

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
July 21st, 2011 | 69 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You can almost hear the collective sigh of acne-infested teenagers.

When The Summer Set released a trio of EPs over the span of twelve months beginning in late 2007, the young Arizonan quintet were clearly living for the moment and having fun. Playing a simple and energetic brand of pop-punk, it was the usual hit and miss batch of songs that ranged from infectiously catchy to downright embarrassing. No-one thought that they could make the step up to a full-length release without stacking it with filler, so it came as a pleasant surprise as to just how consistently enjoyable the band's debut LP 'Love Like This' turned out. While it did not have the Grammy Awards calling for an appearance, their fans (read: kids) loved the fact that they could sing along to hooky tunes such as 'Chelsea', 'Young' and 'The Boys You Do (Get Back At You)'. Even relatively mature tracks like 'Passenger Seat' and the Dia Frampton assisted 'Where Are You Now?' weren't half bad… But could they have been the forerunner for The Summer Set getting just a little too far ahead of themselves on second LP 'Everything's Fine'?

Right from the get-go, you know this album will carry a different kind of vibe than their debut, with opener 'About A Girl' beginning acoustically and remaining at a methodical pace even when the full band kicks in. You can almost hear the collective sigh of acne-infested teenagers exclaiming "This ain't 'The Boys You Do'". Disturbingly, the acoustic guitar is used far too often on 'Everything's Fine', with The Summer Set becoming yet another group to jump on the reggae-pop bandwagon in an attempt to conform to current trends and appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Lead single 'Someone Like You', the gang vocal containing 'Thick As Thieves', the cheesy 'Mona Lisa' and the title-spelling, "Do Do Doo'ing" 'Love To You' all adhere to such a sound... Bruno Mars has a lot to answer for as far as this reviewer is concerned.

It is not that most of the tunes here are necessarily bad, it is just that too many of them fall into the categorization of inoffensive, relatively catchy, but ultimately forgettable mid-tempo power-pop... And even the "power" is a stretch many times, as the quintet appear to have forgotten that they contain two guitarists. Occasionally, they get the mix better in integrating their pop-punk roots with a newer outlook... 'Must Be The Music' and 'Begin Again' - the latter of which resembles the melody to Pink's 'Raise Your Glass' - are quite fun and catchy, while 'When We Were Young' and piano-driven closer 'Don't Let Me Go' are admirable attempts at maturity. Yet, only 'Mannequin' resembles anything close to memorable, with lead vocalist Brian Dales showing genuine passion in his otherwise weak, immature voice. As much as Dales may have improved, the lighter music evident here too often exposes his vocal limitations and he is simply incapable of successfully delivering what he is being asked to.

"Thought we were cool listening to Zeppelin, making out on the stairway to heaven" sings Dales on 'When We Were Young', while during 'Back To The Start' he proclaims "We were just kids". What do you mean "were" Brian? And are you listening to classic rock radio to even know who Led Zeppelin are? Guys, you are still young... Where did all of that youthful exuberance go? Sure, the album is a commendable attempt at maturity which suggests that the five-piece are unlikely to take their careers for granted. Unfortunately, 'Everything's Fine' is another example of a band attempting to grow up far too fast, and coming unstuck because of it. As an individual release, it is passable at best and immediately forgettable at worst. So everything is not, in fact, fine... And as the pseudo title track 'Begin Again' suggests; "If I crash, I'll begin again". Well, if The Summer Set practice what they preach, then maybe they will once more surprise us come time for their third LP.

Recommended Tracks: Mannequin, Don't Let Me Go & Must Be The Music.



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user ratings (36)
Chart.
2.6
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2011


31174 Comments


Your recommended section never fails to impress

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

dimsim3478
July 21st 2011


5025 Comments


Fuckin' A.

Oh, this band. Generic as fuck.

Digging: Little Big League - These Are Good People

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

If I can just add one more album to the Reco section, it should get rid of that awkward final line of the 3rd paragraph. Any ideas?

Hopeland
July 21st 2011


275 Comments


I didn't mind a few songs on their last album, but I probably won't check this out. Reminds me too much of All Time Low

Eko
July 21st 2011


2119 Comments


yes we need more rec's!

summary is awesome, would pos if I could

Knott-
Emeritus
July 21st 2011


10195 Comments


Just add a return after 'evident' Davey that's what I usually do lol

Leatherneck
July 21st 2011


660 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

felt offended by the 'acne-infected tennagers' thing, i fucking despise this crap band

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hopeland, the strange thing is that they don't really sound like All Time Low at all on this album. It's still not a good thing though.

I actually stopped & thought for a moment after posting the review, that probably 50% of people on this site are acne-infested teenagers. No need to despise people because of it though Leatherneck.

Jones
July 21st 2011


38 Comments


Too many bands using Mona Lisa in a song title lately.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good point. It has indeed been popular this year.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2011


16022 Comments


this is fucking terrible.

good review as always though, davey. you're on a roll

Digging: Yellowcard - Lift a Sail

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You're getting cranky in your old age Sowing.

And the roll stops here. All reviewed out for July me thinks.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2011


16022 Comments


i am cranky. i had to drive home from work in 100 degree weather without air conditioning today. was stuck in traffic for 2 hours on a commute that normally takes 1 hour. im ready to kill something.

but seriously, this is so bad. i feel like i have done nothing but negative reviews lately but maybe we should start blaming the shitty artists that keep putting out shitty records

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sowing Season was played by Dave Grohl in the new Foo Fighters video for 'Walk'!

Douglas
July 22nd 2011


9105 Comments


Before I clicked, I already knew this was going to be a Daveyboy review.

Digging: The Preatures - Blue Planet Eyes

Acanthus
July 22nd 2011


9543 Comments


More rec's of bands to steer clear of if you please!

Great review sir!

Digging: Falls of Rauros - The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 22nd 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You're psychic Dougie. Hey, it could have been an Observer review... if we can find him!

I'm providing the public with a service Acanthus.

Acanthus
July 22nd 2011


9543 Comments


And a great one at that sir, you should petition for commission or something!

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 22nd 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I think there are enough potential lockouts going on right now in the U.S. Sputnik doesn't need another one!

dimsim3478
July 22nd 2011


5025 Comments


Foo vid link, Davey?



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