Save Ferris
It Means Everything


3.5
great

Review

by Alex Silveri EMERITUS
May 2nd, 2006 | 6 replies | 5,141 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist


Do-wap-de-do-be-do-wap! Weaooo… *lots of foot tapping here*

If you’re looking for the shortest, most comprehensive description of the feeling Save Ferris’s first full length album, It Means Everything will leave you in after first listen, that was it. Fronted by the powerful vocals of the beautiful Monique Powell, this seven piece hailing from Orange County, California, is the antithesis of melodramatic teenybopper TV series the OC. It’s as if they sat down one day, and said, “F'uck this, lets shake off the shackles of decade of Grunge and bore – were gonna make a record that’s gonna leave you bouncing in your seat, dripping with infectious groove and written in the key of fun". And that is what they did.

"I only want to have a little fun..."

-Under 21

Described by many as ska-lite, it’s a fitting description of the music contained within the album. First and foremost though, it should be noted that this was an album created very much with a mainstream audience in mind, leaving open the debate by the genre Nazis – pop or ska? For now though, let’s go with the all encompassing “pop-ska-swing" and break it down from there.

Pop – With the longest song clocking in at just over four minutes, this album is choc-a-bloc filled with catchy radio friendly tunes, and it’s in no way a bad thing. Truth be told, any longer, and the songs might start to get a little boring - but we’ll get to that later. In the meantime; First item on the agenda today: Monique Powell. Without her, this band would be another bland garage band with little potential to go anywhere (As proved by the utterly boring Starsailor which formed with her after the break up of the band). Although this gal ain’t no Christina Aguilera, Monique’s classicly trained voice is beautiful and elegant, powerful and rockin’, and fit the style of Save Ferris perfectly. While every other member of the band could be imagined as *ahem* expendable, it’s hard to imagine a Save Ferris without her.

Ska-Swing – Besides being probably the popiest third wave ska album since anything released by fellow ska buddies Reel Big Fish (whom the band had toured with), this has many of the hallmarks of a ska-swing record as well. Fast, upstroke guitar strumming, strong walking bass lines, bursts of horns placed high in the mix and syncopated swing styled drumming (Superspy has got lots of fun swing grooves). All this combines to provide a funky mix of easy flowing songs which, on second listen, can become extremely addictive in a ‘oh no… another Save Ferris song stuck in my head’ way. Don’t be surprised to find yourself singing along with the upbeat music, slurring as you pretend to know the lyrics of the verses and toning it down when Monique holds out on those greatly done protracted notes.

If there was a single song that’s a highlight on this album, it’s their cover of “Come on Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners. Truly encompassing that everything Save Ferris’s music stands for, this is one of the most mind numbingly catchy tunes ever (The original was the biggest selling British single in 1982), and Ferris brings out everything good about it. From the opening horn lines to the ridiculously anthemic sing-along “Toora Loora Toora Loo-Rye-Aye, Ill live on the street forever…" this is as essential listen for anyone,

This album falls down rather drastically on its diversity points. Catchiness and funk can only take you so far, and it seems like this was exactly what It means everything was centered upon. The average of three minutes for each song is great, because, as mentioned before, like so many pop albums, it can start to get to you once you realize many of the songs actually begin to start to sound the same with simplistic instrumentation after repeated listens. Sure, there are some great lyrical hooks like “Spam", “Under 21" and “Come on Eileen", but that’s about it. The rest of the lyrics focus on what seems to be the troubled life of a 20 something trying to find his/her way in life, confused about love and the like. Again, Pop.

And of course, there are the comparisons to No Doubt. Released a year after the critically acclaimed Tragic Kingdom a quick look an amazon.com will reveal some hot debate about the subject. While both are fronted by females and comprise of elements of ska, the truth is much of the similarity stops there. Tragic Kingdom was a complex and diverse record and to many the epitome of No Doubt’s career. The same cannot be said of It Means Everything, which is, and was always meant to be a fun, staright forward album for people to enjoy occasionally.

Overall this is a solid album and lots of fun to listen to, but ultimately, this is one that will be forgotten and lost in the mists of time, found in the basement of a distant relative too old to appreciate the teenage musings of a band that was once lots of fun. Even by today’s standards, the music already begins to sound slightly dated. For me, there a dabble into something that you probably wouldn’t hear to many other places - And it’s not a bad thing at all.

3.5/5

Reccomended Tracks

Come On Eileen
Under 21
The World is New
Superspy



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3.5
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Comments:Add a Comment 
StreetlightRock
Emeritus
May 2nd 2006



3752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

For those who complain that it should be classed as ska - I checked up on the Punk Forum band list, and SF is under Skacore, so yea.

And for those who think it deserves a lower rating... I'd totally understand but these reviews are subjective in a way, and i quite like the album.

Digging: Labyrinth Ear - The Orchid Room

smokersdieyounger
May 2nd 2006



672 Comments


''Come on Eileen'' is my most hated ever song, but Im in the mood for ska quite often and might get this.

Laafe
May 2nd 2006



347 Comments


i like ska, but the only thing ie heard off this is Come on Eileen, which is alright. Nice review. what the hell is skacore anyway?

Zebra
Moderator
May 2nd 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Other then the good cover of Come on Eileen and Spam this album has nothing good to offer. I found all of these songs to get tiresome after just a few listens. Powell wanted to be Gwen Stefani so bad.
Great work on the review.

Chem Girl
July 27th 2006



26 Comments


Ummm.... did this band get it's name from the movie Ferris Buellers' Day Off? Or is their some one they know named that? The frist thing that came to my mind was they got it from they movie.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
August 5th 2006



3752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Im pretty sure they did, but don't quote me on that.This Message Edited On 08.05.06



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