Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Red Button - She's About to Cross My Mind

The Red Button have found a nice little niche with this album. Just about everyone loves 60s pop music, but, of course, none of the original artists are around to record new albums anymore. Sure, Paul McCartney is still recording on a semi-regular basis, but his music doesn’t really recall the heyday of British Invasion pop. He’s past that point.
But The Red Button are not past that point. Or, rather, they’re choosing to go back to that point. It doesn’t feel nostalgic, and it doesn’t feel gimmicky. Rather, it feels like these two guys really love that era of music and will try their darndest to recreate the magic and feel of that music.
On this album, they try to recall the spirits of The Beatles (early stuff, of course), The Kinks, The Byrds, and other 60s pop bands.
The problem is, they come off feeling more like clones than anything. Perhaps it’s the slick production, but listening to this album does not make me feel like I’m listening to the height of the British Pop Invasion; I feel like I’m listening to a couple of guys who want to make me think that I’m listening to music in the height of the British Pop Invasion.
I suppose they’re going for a “fun, summer” vibe, and perhaps it works as that. Roll your windows down on a summer day and blast this album.
I still can’t shake the overall annoyingness of some of the songs, though. It seems fun. I feel like I should like it, but something is holding me back. It’s not the lyrics, even though they aren’t the best (who are we kidding? The majority of lyrics in pop music of the 60s wasn’t exactly amazing, either). The musicianship is spot-on. The harmonies are good. But there’s just something about the songs that holds me back from loving them.
I can’t put it into words, unfortunately. So I’ll end with this. It’s not a bad album. It’s not a good album. It’s just kind of…blah. If you’re looking for nothing more than a fun summer album, well, you may just dig this. If you’re looking for anything more, well, you’re probably out of luck.

Rating: 5.0

Good Tracks: “Cruel Girl”, “Free”

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's about THE most idiotic review EVER. The reason that The Red Button is clearly the 2007 record of the year in the underground pop community is because no one band has, in recent memory, written such consistently melodic, stand-on-there-own, REAL pop songs. 11 or 12 of them. This extremely stupid reviewer clearly wants to love it, but parses and hems and haws and does everything that makes music suck today: she thinks to much, analyzing why she "shouldn't" like it. Geez.

Dusty said...

I hope this is a joke.
Perhaps it's not the best review (I'll admit that), but there's no accounting for taste. In my opinion, it is a subpar album, written by a couple of guys who wish it was the 60's again, without ever fully recreating the sound they strive for. I find the majority of the songs obnoxious, to be completely honest with you. I have listened to this album countless times since I wrote this review, and it has only gotten worse with each listen.
I'm not sure what music you listen to, but there have been a number of fantastic "REAL pop" albums this year.
Bishop Allen.
Andrew Bird.
Richard Swift.
The New Pornographers.
And on it can go.
If you disagree with me, that's fine, but there's no reason to get nasty.
Also...I'm a guy. Not a girl.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dusty,

My apologies for the nasty tone. I just disagree with you, mightily. If I may, The Red Button does what not many other current records do: they write traditionally highly melodic, concise pop songs without being "stuck" in the 60s. It's a nice contrast with today's self-indulgent, 5 minutes plus, non-melodic music. But, to each his own -- no hard feelings at all Dusty. Sorry for getting your gander up. I'm just a big fan, as are many, of the Button. To each his own however. All best and Happy Christmas and New Years to you. Sincerely.

Dusty said...

It's cool.
I would like to go on record, however, that I am a HUGE fan of pop music. This pop record? Not so much...I'd much rather listen to early Beatles recordings.
There are a number of melodic bands out there.
Have you heard the new Bishop Allen CD? It is highly influenced by The Kinks and some other British Invasion groups. Good stuff.
I know you're a fan of The Red Button, but not all other music is un-melodic, self-indulgent pop.

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