Review Summary: Oh, how the (not so) mighty have fallen
Bryanstars just can’t catch a break in both the Youtube world and his musical career, although due to his questionable life choices it’s hard to feel any sympathy for the guy; after nearly destroying the careers of nearly ten other Youtubers, scamming his own fans, and having an emo-life crisis threatening lawsuits left and right, it’s surprising that he’s still going. His inevitable follow-up to his debut had everything working against it; from his slaughtered reputation, to a lack of funds due to the EP’s IndieGoGo page only receiving 25 dollars from one backer (falling just a tad short of its $3,000 goal) to his channel’s massive decline in the size of its viewer base as a whole. So how does the infamous Bryan's newest effort fare? ‘Picture Perfect’ is a downright abomination of an EP, as it not only flat out rips off chord progressions from its contemporaries, but takes a steep decline in vocal ability, stylistic flavor, and songwriting prowess.
Bryan’s debut showcased that he had some decent vocal chops and the innate ability to write a catchy pop-punk hook when he wasn’t trying to aurally worship the ground Christopher Drew dragged his acoustic on, but all of that has gone out the window as he’s descended into gargling Never Shout Never’s signature sound so hard that even the pluckiest of his songs would blush. This EP consists of nothing but sickeningly saccharine synth beats, processed guitars with tonal inclinations so thin they couldn’t hold up a stick of gum, up-tuned fingerpicked acoustic numbers, and lyricism about getting girls to open up about their secrets along with other pseudo-creepy romance subjects. The problem here is the same as his debut but far more noticeable; none of it sounds even remotely genuine, and this time he doesn’t have the sizeable production budget or songwriting chops that helped his debut’s more tolerable moments stand out.
His vocals have taken a noticeable downturn in quality, sounding far more nasally than before and even utilizing some vocoder nonsense in songs like “Moment Like This”, while the intention was to give the song a “cute, high school sweetheart” vibe, it just comes across as the second coming of ‘Let’s Start a Riot’ era Dahvie Vanity, but without any of the upfront sexual hijinks. There are no hooks to be found here, and the production style is basically All Time Low’s ‘Dirty Work’ but without out any of the party-life poppy atmosphere or open-ended breathable charismatic mixing that helped that album stand out despite being considered by many as a guilty pleasure. The acoustic tracks are literally just Never Shout Never but with a worse vocalist, sappy production, none of the lyrical charisma, and absolutely no charm. Which is the absolute worst part of this release, not an ounce of charm or likability is presented anywhere throughout this release, it’s so sterile and processed that at times I’m wondering whether this is Skynet’s newest plan and we’re going to get an unwanted cameo in the unneeded sequel to the already unwarranted Terminator Genisys.
So, Bryan; if you happen to read this review, take a step back and look at yourself. What you’re doing isn’t working, it’s clearly not what you want, it’s not what your fans want, and it’s not what the world wants. You need to take some time off, get back to what you clearly enjoyed the most, and just be yourself. You’re not Christopher Drew, you’re not Dahvie Vanity, you’re not Alex Gaskarth, you’re BryanStars. Either that, or you could just keep putting out-of-place “la da da” vocal breaks in your declining discography and continue to wonder why your channel went from averaging 200,000 hits a video to 2,000 hits a video.