Keep your distance if you donâ€™t like pop...
The first time I heard A Cursive
Memory was pure chance. I saw the amazingly funny film clip (more
on that later) for “Everything” and didn’t even know which band
I was listening to until I received the CD a month later and put two
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and two together. Quite simply, ACM have written an album full
of pop infused rock songs... songs which seem to have struck a chord
with a lot of people as the band have racked up fifteen million hits
on their MySpace page since the album’s release.
Opening track “South” is a
perfect summation of what ACM are all about. Borderline whiny
vocals mix with light guitars and a driving piano line which instantly
recalls Drive Thru Records heroes Something Corporate.
In nine out ten cases I’d really dislike a band like this but it’s
incredibly difficult to hate something that’s so well written.
Apart from the fact that the song
is fucking sweet (good luck forgetting the chorus in a hurry) “Everything”
is accompanied by a great film clip which shows the various members
of ACM running around and getting themselves into various photos
and video sequences with a who’s who of Hollywood trash. The record’s
title track is next cab off the rank and uses a more traditional pop
punk approach to get the message across. If nasal vocals and three way
harmonies are your thing then you’re definitely going to enjoy this
“Perfect Company” slows things
right down which is a shame because it completely kills the momentum
built by the album’s first three songs. It’s not that the track
is that bad but ACM are clearly at their best when they’re
playing something a little more up beat and energetic, while “Bank”
falls into the same category as its predecessor... a good song but lacking
the same punch as the band’s stronger material.
Moving right along we have “Lions”
and by this stage I’m starting to lose interest. When you’re releasing
what is effectively a pop album you need to hold the listener’s attention,
something which isn’t achieved when you string three down tempo tunes
together in a row, although the song’s chorus is one of the redeeming
features. The only thing that really stood out about “The Piano Song”
is that it didn’t feature as much piano as I was expecting, however
“Tonight Lites” more than compensates as its guitar driven melodies
and vocal harmonies make it one of the strongest tracks on Changes.
to reform and experiment with keyboards then they’d sound like “All
The Weak”, while “A Different Kind Of Love” could well be the
power ballad of 2008 (whether or not that’s a good thing is open for
debate). “Believe” and “Figure Out” finish the album strongly
however they aren’t quite good enough to make up for the less than
stellar mid section.
If sugary pop anthems aren’t
your thing the keep walking. If however you’ve got a soft spot for
in-offensive sing a longs and potential top 40 hits then there’s a
good chance that you’ll love A Cursive Memory. There are four
tracks on offer that would all perform well as singles however as a
record it falls into the inconsistent category. Having said that, I’m
sure we’ll be hearing a lot from these kids in the future.