Review Summary: Surfing, parties, and girls... what more could you ask for?
Hopefully, most of you are lucky enough to have either forgotten or have never seen that crappy Lindsay Lohan movie, Just My Luck. But in case it still resides in your mind, maybe there's something good you can take from the experience. Remember the band from the movie, McFly? They're real. And they're not that bad.
Forming in 2003, UK's McFly have certainly made a name for themselves overseas. They have sold 10 million albums worldwide and are known for being the youngest band ever to have an album debut at #1, a title previously held by the Beatles. That album is Room on the 3rd Floor.
With influences of 50's and 60's pop and surf-rock, the band presents a strong batch of infectious songs, ripe with teenage heartache. However, strong songwriting helps it from becoming cheesy. We have a charming 1-2-3 punch opening the album with "Five Colours in Her Hair", "Obviously", and "That Girl." The vocal harmonies are spot on and the choruses are guaranteed to stay in your head, whether you want them to or not.
Speaking of vocal harmonies, I think thats what makes this band work so well. The combination of Tom Fletcher's high delicate voice and Danny Jones' deeper and grittier voice makes the songs interesting. Alone, I'm not sure either of them could make as big an impact, but together, they are sturdy and seamless. They shine on the "Hey Jude"-esque harmony near the end of title track "Room on the 3rd Floor" which tells the story of how the two started writing songs together in a hotel room. Drummer Harry Judd and bassist Dougie Poynter also provide a commendable rhythm section, giving songs like "Hypnotized" and "Met This Girl" an extra boost to nod our heads to.
Are there flaws? Of course. There are only so many ways to write a surf-rock song and some songs like "Saturday Night", "Surfer Babe", and "Unsaid Thing" may begin to feel redundant. But I can't say there's a song on the album thats completely unenjoyable. A part of that is thanks to the lead guitar work of Danny Jones, who adds extra touches to songs like "That Girl" and "She Left Me", adding more memorable element to already well written pop songs. The fact that there are guitar solos at all on this album impresses me!
The album closes with two strong ballads, "Not Alone" and "Broccoli." The acoustic driven "Not Alone" strays away from catching waves and chasing girls and focuses just on the troubles of getting by day to day. It is refreshing and works well. "Broccoli" features some piano from Tom Fletcher and from the opening lines, "Everything was going just the way I planned, the Broccoli was done. She doesn't know that I'm a virgin in the kitchen 'cause its normally my mom" this song contains a charm that will take you right back to your first high school crush.
Is Room on the 3rd Floor a ground breaking album? No. But it is very good pop music that will get you singing along. It seems all McFly has left to do is break out in the US… if they'll ever get their chance. Nonetheless, they are some talented young musicians, and this is a solid first release.