A Rocket to the Moon
Wild & Free


2.5
average

Review

by Will Robinson STAFF
April 3rd, 2013 | 22 replies | 3,617 views


Release Date: 03/26/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Being teenagers forever can only take a band so far.

Taking a page from Sputnikmusic staff writer Adam Downer’s recent Justin Timberlake review, I’d like to take a moment to let out a sigh of displeasure at certain gushings of praise devoted to A Rocket To The Moon’s new album, Wild & Free. To wit: a certain blog, “34th Street,” praised the album as “a more grown-up, country style.” My issue with this statement is not the “country” part: this album is clearly a straight country-pop release. The problem herein, rather, is the whole bit about “grown-up.” Though it’s probably fair to say the Massachusetts-based pop rock outfit has matured a bit since their debut release, Your Best Idea, which was an unfortunate venture into the realm of god-awful autotune and cheesy-as-hell synths, it’s just blatantly untrue that Wild & Free shows any sort of “growing up” compared to On Your Side, the group’s previous full-length outing. While the latter album was defined by its cutesy, aw-shucks pop rock sensibilities (see the perfect teeny-bopper lyrics to the chorus of “Like We Used To” to see what I mean), the band’s newest offering is essentially that same concept with some slide guitars and quasi-Southern twang.

It’s a little tough, then, to see where exactly that “growing up” happened here. Vocalist Nick Santino is still going on about saccharine-sweet teenage-ish relationships, the boy-band chorus harmonies are still prevalent, and the songs are still just about as absolutely safe as they come. The only major difference between the band’s latest two albums is that while On Your Side only tentatively utilizes standard country-pop tropes, Wild & Free is a full-on embracing of the style the band had only flirted with before. As I said earlier, this album is basically a straight-up country-pop-meets-cute-Massachusetts-boys release, 13 songs worth of everything tried-and-true about both genres. From its beginning in kick-driven, kinda-sorta-like-Memphis-guitar-based sweetie “Going Out” to its end in piano-ballad slow-dance-worthy “Lost And Found,” the album screams its true identity at every turn - extremely safe country-tinged pop rock, with nothing inventive anywhere to be found.

Sure, it’s catchy as hell, and in true A Rocket To The Moon fashion the album’s main draw is how damn easy the whole thing is. It slides in one ear and right out the other like cream soda, super sweet and not all that nutritious. To be quite honest, though, this was probably to be expected for an album that would feel right at home on the local country station. Wild & Free is laboratory-manufactured for easy consumption, without a shred of individuality present. And it’s almost catchy and well-produced enough to succeed, as no doubt most of the tunes here will turn into major earworms sooner or later for quite a few listeners. Unfortunately, the syrupy nature of the album can only take it so far. Sooner or later, the ultra-safe “you’re a little bit country, yeah, and I play rock and roll” (You’re My Song) songs will naturally start to grate obnoxiously. Rather than grow up, A Rocket To The Moon stick to what’s worked in the past, and unfortunately that strategy doesn’t work very well beyond a certain point that any listener is sure to pass within the first few listens.



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user ratings (21)
Chart.
2.9
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Brostep
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2013



3334 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Would someone mind fixing the art for this? It shows up fine under the band page.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 2nd 2013



49767 Comments


The review made a new page for it, asking the meds now

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2013



3334 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

That's weird, it appears under the album. Thanks for asking the meds though

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 2nd 2013



49767 Comments


Go on the band page and you'll notice there's two, and the one with a rating and no art is this one

joshieboy12345
April 3rd 2013



5370 Comments


Ehh.

Digging: Rise Against - The Black Market

tmagistrelli
April 3rd 2013



714 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i kinda wanted this to be good, whole lotta you is a catchy as hell song though.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2013



3334 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The whole thing is catchy as hell, but unfortunately that can only take an album so far. I still am a fan of "Like We Used To" though

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2013



9977 Comments


Nice review, man, though you could probably afford to take this part out:

"My issue with this statement is not the “country” part: this album is clearly a straight country-pop release. The problem herein, rather, is the whole bit about “grown-up.”"

Since you touch on the important parts in the next sentence, etc.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2013



3334 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Awesome, thanks for the feedback. I'll keep that in mind.

skoopy48
April 12th 2013



1434 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Ugh, couldn't stand this, and I liked On Your Side well enough

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2013



3334 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

On Your Side was a pretty good album, though.

skoopy48
April 13th 2013



1434 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah it was fun and catchy so I liked it....this is just too damn country

PunchforPunch
April 13th 2013



5875 Comments


baby blue eyes and like we used to are my fave songs

Digging: Horna / Behexen - Split

pepster50
April 14th 2013



326 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

surprised by the country change. Some catchy songs. Average in every way

joshieboy12345
April 15th 2013



5370 Comments


Definitely average.

MarkTheDead
April 29th 2013



644 Comments


This album wasn't awful.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2013



3334 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not great either though

MarkTheDead
April 29th 2013



644 Comments


Far, far from great.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2013



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

With the help of producer Mark Bright, A Rocket To The Moon instill greater country influences into their catchy pop-rock on 3rd LP 'Wild & Free'. While showing some maturity, the lyrics are still extremely cheesy & cliched, but frontman Nick Santino does a sincere job of relaying the youthful titular theme. As per usual, the quartet deliver likable, earworm choruses, even if it gets a bit much towards the end of these 43 minutes. Thankfully, the 1 fast - 1 slow ordering keeps things interesting & displays variety, with only 'Somebody Out There' nearing unlistenable depths. Recommended Tracks: You're My Song, Going Out, Whole Lotta You & Lost and Found.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2013



3334 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's absolutely listenable but so damn white-bread that it doesn't do much for me. What'd you think of the review Davey?



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