CD REVIEW Hot Chelle Rae

Band : Hot Chelle Rae
Album title : Wharever
Label : RCA
Distributor : Sony Music
Release date : 29/11/2011
Release : CD

What the...you have got to be pulling my leg here, dear editor-in-chief...or other wize the people at Sony Music are trying to pull a fast one on you? But what the f*** does this Boys Band still have to do with the Pop Rock pretense they're putting up? I mean, the most “Rock” sounds this band produces comes forth from synthesizers, for cryin' out loud! Or is that perhaps a synth guitar? Who cares anyway, the honey-sweet vocal harmonies, the lyrical topics, this is a mushy a Boys Band as I've heard 'em before!

In other words, dear reader, if you're not into Poppy singalong stuff, simply close this page and move onto the next. Okay...that aside, here's a short history. Nashville based HCR was founded in 2005 after a meeting between lead singer/ rhythm guitarist Ryan Follesé (son of Country songwriter Keith Follesé) and lead guitarist/ backing singer Nash Overstreet  (son of Country singer/ songwriter Paul Overstreet and brother of actor Chord Overstreet). To complete their band, they enlisted bassist/ backing singer Ian Keaggy (son of singer/ guitarist Phil Keaggy, who's released over 50 albums and contributed to even more albums in the mainstream and contemporary Christian music markets) and Ryan's brother Jamie on drums. Originally named Miracle Drug, the band changed its name after an episode of being stalked via MySpace. The band signed to Jive Records in October 2008, their debut album Lovesick Electric being released a year later.

As a prelude to the release of this, their sophomore album, the band first issued the single “Tonight, Tonight”, which not only peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 2011, but also sold platinum twice in the US (also Platinum in Australia and Canada)! Next single “I Love It Like That” would be released in September, and although it only reached #28 in the US singles charts, it still sold Platinum in the US and Australia, and found a host of idiots...sorry, HCR fans....making a fool of themselves....sorry, giving tribute to the band...by recording their own silly....sorry, euhrm...motivated?...clips and sending it out on the Internet through faecesbook...sorry, facebook and other social network sites.

All the media attention resulted to the album peaking in the albums charts at #48 in the US and at #25 in Australia. The band sang their (granted, very catchy) song “I Like It Like That” at the nationally televised Pro Bowl pregame ceremonies on January 29, 2012, as well as at the Hall Of Game Awards on February 20 of late. March 27 saw the release of third single “Honestly” (hey...that also happens to be the 3rd song on the album, and if the label continues like that, they have still 8 singles to go – I'm sure they've already considered “Whatever” to be the next single!). Meanwhile, I found out why we were sent this CD...it's quite simply because in March and up to April 4, the band was on a European tour! A full-blown US tour started April 10 will go on until June 3rd, and on June 17th and 20th the guys will be playing in Osaka & Tokyo (Japan).

Just in case you've kept on reading, you must have sóme interest in this band after all. You know, sóme of the tracks dó get a nice Rock guitar in the back, or even in the forefront (check “Forever Unstoppable”, for best example, and dó listen to the nice duet Ryan does with Demi Lovato in the song “Why Don't You Love Me” - hum...I had a tasty little crack-down on any Boys Band needing a “why don't you love me” songs...ah well, there you have it after all!), and you can actually listen to all songs on the Whatever and Lovesick Electric albums, ànd the songs on the Tonight, Tonight single and remix single, as well as the two songs off the Bleed single. It's all mushy like slime, meant to be sold to your average mainstream screaming and wooing teenager girls! And the guitars thrown in? I'm sure that's just so the boys can say the guitar lick is pretty cool, you know, as to not offend their girlfriends too much! So considerate of you, HCR!

Eeaarrgghhh...commercial bullsh$t!!! But well-done anyway! That, I cannot deny, and so my rating of the album is a balance of my loathing of commercialism in music, and the band's nack at making good songs.

79/100

Tony.