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.
Good Tracks: “Cruel Girl”, “Free”
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