Rooney
Eureka


2.0
poor

Review

by Observer EMERITUS
June 10th, 2010 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Eureka! Offensive radio pop

Independent and on their own, Rooney have started to pull from a number of musical directions to make their alternative radio pop, past and present. Everything about that last sentence screams “summary!” - I know, but it’s really the ideal way to approach the writing of a review for Rooney’s third full-length, Eureka. Prosaically, the Los Angeles quintet have always been known to mix and match influences, most often cited as an 80s recall of slender pop music, or even early 90s British invasion rock. On this album, though, now more than ever, the band’s creative energies become a wondering vacuum of a theiving nature, pulling resources from the likes of a distant Steely Dan and a most definitive caricature of Tom Petty – or rather, plundering and stealing their property for a cash-in, right from under those artists’ noses.

Make no mistake, though; Eureka is not an unbalanced-sounding album, or is it even overtly diversified in its elements. The production values, as first glistened and set for display on Rooney’s self-titled in 2003 and Calling the World in 2007, still border, and often reside, in the realm of tawdry extravagance: crystal clean and shamelessly revealing. Any actual borrowing takes place within the actual hooks and occasional lyrics of the songs themselves. Robert Schwartzman acts too cool to actually be considered cool in the repeated keyboard riff on “Only Friend”, sneaking in a hand to steal Harry Nilson’s last cookie – or in this case, only friend. A simple piano playing brings ol' Steely Dan to the party on “Stars and Stripes”, Schwartzman taking an active stance on John Mayer’s passive “Waiting on the World to Change”: "It’s gonna take the world to change / It’s time to start helpin’ each other.”

Pointing fingers and identifying the victims aside, not all is well in the Rooney camp as far as the strength of the hooks go and how exactly well Eureka sounds as a light-weighted radio pop album. The use of the term inoffensive has been a staple of Rooney’s repertoire for a while now, seemingly implemented with finesse in the past to sooth the angry and, alongside the band members' cited good looks, bring in the ladies. Its use was also one of the reasons why “When Did Your Heart Go Missing” was an overseas success in the UK in 2007 and “I’m Shakin” was a featured highlight in the television show The O.C.; but on Eureka, however, it’s taken to a whole new level, beyond anything that might actually help the band's agenda for success. Barring the infectious “I Can’t Get Enough”, a song that sounds like what Weezer might put out if they really did collaborate with Timbaland, the album has a hard time finding an identity and positioning any key standouts, much less staying consistently good.

Closer “Don’t Look at Me”, a song that pulls a lyrical u-turn on the we're-making-it-through course that opener “Holdin’ On” starts Eureka out on, has the band wallowing in the self-esteem issues of Schwartzman, featuring a wealth of lines perfectly suited for summing up the band’s third release: “Don’t look at me / I’m a disgrace", ”I’m no good / Yeah, I’m no good,” and, my favorite, nailing and bettering every point made thus far, “I’m getting old / Yeah, I’m getting old.” You see, Rooney do make inoffensive pop music - though they admittedly did it better and with less shame in years past – but on Eureka, they’ve clearly run out of ideas, pulling even more so from those that came before them to make a processed, by-the-numbers radio pop album that just cannot find a way to stand out. The hooks are too dull, the homage is too obvious, and the production is just overtly saccharine.

You know, all things considered, maybe it really is offensive after all.



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user ratings (14)
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Bitchfork (1.5)
Eureka shows Rooney still "holdin' on."...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Observer
Emeritus
June 10th 2010


9408 Comments


not much interest for this on sputnik, I bet, and with good reason, despite being a mainstream band. Anyway, I guess it's a good chance to work on my negative reviews

out two days ago

Nagrarok
June 10th 2010


8656 Comments


I really have to start looking out you don't pass me by with the review count, you're just the machine I am. Pos'd of course.

thebhoy
June 10th 2010


4460 Comments


yeah this band blows

klap
Emeritus
June 10th 2010


12410 Comments


good christ this band is still around?

edit: lol locksley love in the rec

Observer
Emeritus
June 10th 2010


9408 Comments


Cheers Nag

Well i remember reading that review of yours back in jan and figured there were some similarities that would warrant the rec, namely the meh-ness

klap
Emeritus
June 10th 2010


12410 Comments


indeed

EVedder27
June 10th 2010


6088 Comments


Don't think I've heard of these guys, maybe I know a single or two

bloc
June 10th 2010


70400 Comments


I liked that one song these guys had from that Nancy Drew movie.

KristinaMarie24
June 12th 2010


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I wholeheartedly disagree. Eureka is my favorite of their three releases. Don't be deterred by this overly critical review.



By the way, I believe you meant to say 'identity' instead of 'identify' in the third paragraph...

Observer
Emeritus
June 12th 2010


9408 Comments


Thanks, good catch.

Sorry you did not like my review. There's not that many fans of the band on this site though, it seems, so I'm not sure I'd really be deterring very many people.

ShadowRemains
June 12th 2010


27948 Comments


pos'd cause review is coolbeans

Observer
Emeritus
June 12th 2010


9408 Comments


Much appreciated, man, thanks

ShadowRemains
June 12th 2010


27948 Comments


anytime :D

AggravatedYeti
June 12th 2010


7683 Comments


yeah this band blows


good christ this band is still around?


review = ace

RyanSanchez
July 11th 2010


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I accidently hit "Dig It," so discount my vote. This album is excellent. You don't have to be a fan of this band to appreciate Eureka. But if you do care for their sound, you will be very happy you bought this album. This album is a perfect blend of what Rooney does best and it reaches for new things. Their not trying to be the next cool, blog envied, band. They are underdogs and they're in their own lane. The songs are killer and very consistent and the fact that it was done fully independently, in their garage, shows the talent and skill of their craftsmanship. This band was hand picked by Johnny Ramone to be on the Ramones Tribute album...they beat out Motorhead for that slot! This is not just some indie pop band spinning their wheels, this is a standout artist. So many bands on your website are praised for nothing. This band is authentic, this band has put in the years on the road and dealt with label bullshit that would make headlines. Do your research before you lump them into a category that is all in your head. You wrote a nice article, congrats on your journalism abilities. But next time, open your ears.

Dryden
July 11th 2010


13585 Comments


you 5'd a band that was on The O.C.

RyanSanchez
July 11th 2010


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yes, can you believe it? Holy shit! Should I mention some others:



Death Cab For Cutie

The Killers

Modest Mouse



Dude, so insane that I would like a band that has appeared on the OC. Well, Iggy Pop was on a Nickelodeon show called Pete and Pete...Jimi Hendrix opened for the Monkees. You should probably just enjoy music for what it is...MUSIC.

zlenn45
October 9th 2010


4 Comments


Subjectivity is awesome right? I mean being able to disagree...I mean God forbid we enjoy different things...

Down2Funk
August 11th 2018


2 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Really good review. I don't quite get why people enjoy their music.

Down2Funk
August 11th 2018


2 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

[redacted]



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