I feel the need to slap myself in the face for this one already. Granted, the majority of this record actually sounds like All Time Low violently throwing up all over One Direction. But I remember Justin Barney of Radio Milwaukee once saying, “We become apologists for bands that we love, and we end up listening to their new album because of the comfort that it gives, rather than the artistic merit of the album.” And that’s exactly what I’m doing right now.
Despite never having paid the slightest bit of attention to McFly since the band first started, this super group’s self-titled album was one that I couldn’t not listen to, and that was due to the fact that it includes two members of my all-time favourite childhood band, Busted. I have to admit, I was somewhat disappointed that Charlie Simpson wouldn’t be joining the others, but there’s something ridiculously nostalgic about hearing Matt Willis and James Bourne sing over a bunch of cheesy pop riffs.
Let’s completely ignore the train wreck (and funnily enough, first single from the album) that is ‘Air Guitar’ and skip straight to track two, the incredibly Blink-esque ‘I Hate Your Guts’. Why so Blink 182, I hear you ask? That’s because the brilliant Mark Hoppus himself features. It’s a shame though really, if we could switch Tom Fletcher’s squeaks for NOFX’s Fat Mike, this could have actually passed for a great punk track.
Don’t get me wrong though, this review isn’t going to turn into a McFly hate-fest. Up next, comes the genuinely brilliant ‘What Happened to Your Band?’ (no doubt a hint towards Busted’s breakup), followed a little later on by ‘Gone’ – two songs in which the boys’ vocals blend perfectly together to create a couple of catchy, anthemic pop tracks.
The song you’ve all been hearing on every McBusted advert is the album’s second single release, ‘Get Over It’. Unfortunately, this is yet another train wreck that sounds like something Simon Cowell would write for a teenage boy band’s final X Factor performance. I’m sensing a pattern here so I’ll try to make this easier for you: you should also avoid ‘Riding on My Bike’ (did Brokencyde cover Year 3000?) and ‘Getting It Out’.
Listening to ‘Sensitive Guy’ proves from the first line that the guys aren’t done writing songs that joke about losing their virginities, but ‘How’s My Hair’ is definitely something different. Despite its terrible lyrics, its guitar riffs are enough to break your heart, similar to that of a drum-free Bullet for My Valentine track (if you can imagine it). It’s a personal favourite, but it’s a shame the chorus seems to ruin… well, everything.
On the plus side, there’s no denying that ‘Beautiful Girls Are The Loneliest’ is pretty damn adorable. I love this record without a doubt, and it genuinely made me laugh, but Barney was right – it’s definitely not about the record’s artistic merit.
Review by Kelly Ronaldson