Review Summary: Artificial Vintage
Drake and Josh…that’s where we all best knew Drake Bell is it not? We knew him for being the carefree and rebellious one of the comedy duo. It seems like times have changed fast, it’s like out of sigh Bell was just under the radar and went from a decently respectable pop rocker into a 50’s greaser. I’m unsure of how this evolution took place, and it’s not just his physical appearance, the whole album is a nod to late 1950’s rockabilly. I can get behind this change up, albeit it feels too forced, not to mention if Bell really wanted to go through with this, there should have been more grit with his production choices to go with his look. It’s like asking for a nice tall glass of orange juice, and instead you get that watered down Tampico bull***! You still drink it though because nonetheless it’s okay. The guitars and the vocals need a freaking jolt! Please Drake, have some grit to your voice. Someone make this production more lo-fi and let's see how that goes. That’s what my #1 complaint is driving for!
..….well aside from that you’re looking at an okay, not very serious, flamboyantly nostalgic pop record.
The lead single, “bitchcraft,” (wow, not easing into the adult territory here eh, Bell?) is a great ambitious tune I wasn’t expecting to hear. It’s also got a slight novelty tone to. Almost something along the route of a few tracks you’d hear on The Beatles’ white album (of course not a classic though). A fan favorite is back on the album as well, “Makes me Happy”, after going through a car wash full of mousse, is as fun as you remember it. I’m also impressed with the closing track too, “Give me a Little More Time”, this is where I’m actually seeing a glimpse of emotion through Bell’s newfound persona in this fantastically soothing, “late night at the bar”, soft rock song. There should have been more emotion throughout this record. “Bull”, isn’t too bad either, a galloping country rocker song with a big, dumb, and fun chorus.
Well those four were pretty good, figures the rest are straight up average tracks, which is a shame because this is really the type of album where you were really cheering on the front man to do something better, and you wish you liked it more. They’re just too tame and some of the lyrics on these deep cuts (a stretch to call them deep cuts) are laughable. The track, “California Man”
“Well I cross my mamma so bad. And this woman, she's making me mad. So I don't care if your legs start aching. I'm a California man”
Hell man, I really don’t know about this one. Long before this track though you've probably seen the overly vintage references that are just too stale. It’s not the time period of course, the stereotypical lyrics of jukeboxes playing all day and silly lyrics about leaving home at the age of fifteen to become a runaway boy and use the few dollars you have to buy a new toy….…......I rest my case. I need some goddamn orange juice…
But hey, you have a handful of tunes that are decently passable. Hopefully that’s all the flashback 1950’s trip you need.