Within the first few seconds, the impression is given that this is going to be a fun album. However, a crucial question lingers – will the fun last? The answer is an emphatic NO. The opening track, “All That We Needed”, is a really basic pop-rock song. Clean, simplistic rhythms work the song forward with high, jumpy bass lines. The snare jumps out of your speakers with a pop and my head was nodding without giving it any thought. It’s nothing new – but it’s done really well, as the repetitive chorus will remain in your mind for hours. This is a good thing – for one song. Not 13 songs. The album progresses into a darker song, “Revenge”. This is when the lyrics started to annoy me – “I’ve got the microphone so don’t go too far, I’m gonna tell the whole world how you really are”. The bubbly undertone provided by the album opener has managed to disappear in this song, as the verse is overly basic, the same pulsing beat pops in after each vocal line is spoken throughout the song. No variation means the song isn’t interesting.
The next track, “Take Me Away” doesn’t stray far from the pop-punk formula, as the song launches into a chorus within 30 seconds. Again, lyrics like “What does this guy do that I don’t do?” begin to wear thin – it’s been done before, and it’s certainly been done better. The chorus in this song is repeated way too many times, and by the time the song was over I felt as if I’d heard it 5 times in a row. Not good. After another sub-par slower rock song, the album begins to get better with “Sad Story”. The track has an decent bass line, jumping up into the high range of the bass guitar during the verse and once again in the chorus. This is one of the better songs on the album, but once again Plain White T’s manage to hit the crux of their failure – the choruses are just repeated too many times. The songs are full of hooks, but not in a good way. These are the type of songs that will become annoying instead of catchy. There’s no reason to listen to this album over again, because you’ve already heard every single song 5 times – repeated over and over again.
There is no saving grace in the later tracks. Each song reaches its pinnacle of a chorus in under a minute. There is no build-up or variation, we’re talking verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge type format for every single song. Though this format may appeal to fans of early Lit or Simple Plan, it will leave most listeners unfulfilled. Getting through the rest of this album proved to be an arduous task, as sappy pop pervaded my mind over and over again. Upon multiple listens of this album, I felt like I’d heard it 10 times as many times as I did. For some, this could be the perfect summer album. Unfortunately it’s winter, and anybody that desires anything remotely deep out of their listening experience should steer far clear of this album when it comes out in 2005.