Review Summary: Stay away. Stay far, far away.
In a 2008 interview with Scouting For Girls, self-professed band leader Roy Stride made the not altogether startling revelation that his band were not, in fact, cool. "Our music is a fair reflection of who we are. If we were at a party, the people in the cool bands would be sitting in the corner, we'd be dancing around”. At the time the band were on tour to promote their debut self titled album which whilst mauled by the critics still managed to gain platinum status in the United Kingdom. Whether or not they can repeat this success is debatable and with the genre having a general trend toward disappointing sophomore records there is not many who would bet on the album selling as excessively as its predecessor. Still it wouldn’t exactly be hard to outdo an album that’s main claim to fame was the diabolical lead single She’s So Lovely
would it? Well it would seem that the trio have spent the past year trying as hard as possible to fail in this simplest of tasks; and they weren’t far off.
Like its predecessor Everybody Wants To Be On TV
attempts far too hard to be a charming and sugary sweet radio rock darling. While the innocent image and fresh faced approach of the debut was lapped up by teenage girls across the country, the music itself was simplistic, repetitive twaddle cringe-worthy to the point of disbelief and the biggest problem with Everybody Wants To Be On TV
is that it suffers from many of the same problems. Nearly everything on here is offensive to the ears; the gauche rhyming couplets, the slick overproduction and the lacklustre chord changes taken directly from pop-rock 101 all fearlessly leading the assault with equal desire. Despite all of this however, perhaps the worst culprit of all is the bland, almost lethargic attitude from the band in terms of song writing. For the most part, the formulaic piano ballads and guitar led soft rock, both often containing an excruciating lyrical accompaniment, are so by the book that one has to wonder whether the band are actually serious.
On Scouting For Girls
, Stride's vocals themselves were reason alone to steer clear and, obviously not content with the screechy singing the band have resigned to the mainstream workhorse that is auto-tune. The tell-tale polished vocoding is first announced on Little Miss Naughty
, a tedious track in the running for worst song of the year, and the fact that the auto-tuning actually improves the vocals should be enough to detract all but the most zealous of fans. However even the auto-tuning pales in comparison to the worst aspect of the album – the lyrics. For the most part, the band seem more than keen to stick with the awkward and often embarrassing lyrics found on Scouting For Girls
and it soon becomes obvious that there are few departures from this approach. Notable lines throughout include “There's nothing like a little bit of class. Wrapped up in a perfect ass” and “Three months later on the phone I've got your dad/He's not a happy man, no he was flippin' mad”.
Lyrical subtexts aside there are improvements on Everybody Wants To Be On TV
. While the general structure of the album is still simpler than Cletus Spuckler (The Simpsons very own slack-jawed yokel) the band have finally discovered a little thing called variety. Whether through mastery of their craft or sheer luck the band do manage to hit the oh-so-tender moments that they tried so hard to achieve on the first album. Silly Song
is the closest the band have come to expressing true sincerity, and comes close to making the heart of the listener bleed before the overly upbeat atmosphere destroys the mood. The improvement shown here is promising, but nothing compared to the startlingly good closer Take A Chance
. The shift from bouncy up-tempo numbers to the low key ballad is hugely welcome and the way in which the band pull it off goes some way towards redeeming the album as a whole.
Ultimately it is for this reason and this reason alone that the album is a relative success. Yes the lyrics are annoying, the percussion practically non-existent and the band’s overall existence just short of nauseating but at least Everybody Wants To Be On TV
shows the band actually trying. If they continue to improve and stop trying overly hard to impress the mass mainstream public then they may become yet another asinine throwaway pop band worthy enough of being called a guilty pleasure. Or they could just continue to tread the familiar path in search of easy record sales and the attributed shallow fame that is bound to follow proving that they, like everybody else, just want to be on TV.
Take A Chance
Overall 1.5 Very Poor