Friday, 6 April 2012

Album Review - Whatever (Hot Chelle Rae)

I thought I would start my blog with a review of, what I feel, is the best album of 2012 so far. Hot Chelle Rae is a pop/indie band from Nashville Tennessee and their new album Whatever is bursting with instantly loveable tracks. The lead singer Ryan Follese, has a voice that could make any teenage girl's knees go weak and the musical styling's of his band mates Nash Overstreet, Ian Keagy and Jamie Follese are amazing for teenage rock lovers out there.

The opening track 'I Like It Like That' perfectly introduces the band as a group of chilled out guys who just want to have fun. Whereas some songs take a while to get into, from the first line this song can put a smile on your face. The song features New Boyz who rap a bridge which I don't think is needed and may be a couple of lines too long but makes the song accessiable to a wider, more mainstream audience. Whatever you do, do not download the Radio Disney version of the song unless you are under the age of 12. The lyrics to some of the funniest parts are changed to make them more child friendly but I think it kills the vibe a bit.

The next song is 'Tonight Tonight' which went double platinum after its release as a single last March. Rightly so, too. Carrying on the theme of forgetting the past and enjoying life without a care in the world, Tonight Tonight is a song filled with attitude and teenage humour. The best line? 'I woke up with a strange tattoo, not sure how I got it not a dollar in my pocket and it kind of looks just like you, mixed with Zach Galifinakis'. A band that can fit in the word Galifinakis in their lyrics, are a band worth listening to and leave you needing to see this tattoo. Without a doubt, this song should have been featured on The Hangover soundtrack even without the name drop.

The following song is 'Honestly' and I think this song should win an award for the most enticing first line. Ryan's voice sounds particularly cool on this track. It is a song about getting out of a clingy relationship because you can't be bothered anymore and realising that life is a lot better single and free. An excellent break up song specifically designed to annoy the pants off of your ex.

Track 4 is Keep You With Me which is a refreshing change from the previous three tracks which shows that the boys do actually have a heart and can take life times. This slower song initially sounds very 'boy band' like with its cheesy lines and slow guitar rhythm but the chorus is powerful and heart felt.

The next tune, Radio, takes you back to the fun beats of the first three songs. It is probably the catchiest song on the album and is about a long distance relationship. This, clearly, is something the band has gone through first hand and so even though it is an up-beat song with lots of 'oh oh's, the boys' honesty is felt throughout the song. Again, this song has a rap after the bridge by Bei Maejor but this time I thought the rap was a good addition as it had humorous lyrics that make you want to get up a dance.

'Whatever', the next song is the title track of the album and honestly I think sums up the album perfectly. The 'whatever' outlook on life may not be everyone's cup of tea but I think it's great, especially for teens as we often go through very stressful times, be it at home or at school, and although i'm not denying that working hard is important, sometimes you do need to let lose a bit and forget your troubles. If youre looking for motivational music, Taylor Swift may be a little up your street, but if youre looking for music that can highlight that everyone has problems to deal with and a positive attitude can help, this is for you. My favourite song on the album, it proves Hot Chelle Rae are not only a talented band, they are insanely relatable too.

Track 7 is 'Forever Unstoppable'. The juxtaposition between Whatever and Forever Unstoppable is quite funny actually. Whatever, the song that tells you to give up and move on with your life is very different from Forever Unstoppable which gives the message that if you want something out of life, you need to get up from your backside and go get it because 'nothings impossible'. However it shows the two factors of life which is important as there is always the fear kids will take Whatever too seriously and none of our generation will have the mind-set to get jobs in the future!

The next song, featuring ex Disney star Demi Lovato, showcases Ryan's amazing vocal talents on the song 'Why Don't You Love Me?'. You would think Demi's incredible, strong voice would over-power Ryan's vocals, but their voices compliment each other's very well. Their harmonies are beautiful and I love how the song shows the two sides of the relationship; from the boy's point of view and the girl's. The situation of wanting someone to love you when they do not show as much interest is something so many people go through and the song is so well-written it makes it almost impossible to think that anyone could not love Ryan or the band.

If your heart has recovered from the angst-filled 'Why Don't You Love Me?', the next song Downtown Girl brings you back to the party mood. An easy song to dance to, it makes me question why all aritsts can't write songs that put me in such a damn right good mood?

Feel free to continue dancing because Downtown Girl is followed by another party anthem perfect for a summer party in your back garden or on the beach. Beautiful Freaks reaches out to everyone and anyone who just want to act crazy and have a good time. It encourages you to feel beautiful and can unite people through this amazing song.

The final track on the album, 'The Only One' is another example, along with Keep You With Me, that shows Hot Chelle Rae are capable of writing incredible love songs as well as their expertise in writing party tunes. The similes in the verses, for example 'its like technicolour in black and white' show they are talented guys who put a lot of thought into their writing and are not just singing about love for the sake of fitting in with other artists, but that they have felt the emotions they are describing and they are genuine feelings.

In conclusion, Whatever is a must-buy record for teenagers and I am pretty sure the 'replay' button will be worn out after your first few weeks of downloading it.

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