Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review: Rooney "Eureka"

I've been a big fan of the power pop and rock outfit Rooney since their self-titled debut blew me away in 2002 with its ultra catchy hooks and sunny melodies. Now "free" of major record labels, the band has recently released their third effort, "Eureka" on their own new label, California Dreamin’ Records. It's been three long years, with only the excellent solo release from Taylor Locke to keep me company (review here), so I was on the edge of my seat with eager anticipation...

I am just as surprised as you may be when I say that my first listen produced nothing more than "meh". What the hell happened? This batch of songs is devoid of passion and almost completely lacking the charm that drew me in as a devoted fan. Being such a devout fan, I gave the record a second and third try, but still struggle to find the magic that made me fall in love with this band.

I don't mean to be overly harsh - some of the songs are quite good. Things get off to a decent, albeit lukewarm, start with the Weezer-lite sound of "Holdin' On", which was what I was doing in hopes that the rest of the CD would be more exciting. "Only Friend" also comes close, but I can't help thinking this sounds too much like Barry Manilow covering a song by Roger Joseph Manning Jr. The better tracks are "I Can't Get Enough", "All Or Nothing", and "I Don't Wanna Lose You", where Rooney get their groove back and showcase their love for everything from E.L.O. to Jellyfish. But considering what we know this band to be capable of, "Eureka" is remarkably dull. Give it a try if you are curious to hear what a more mature, subdued, and sugar-free Rooney record would sound like - otherwise, go with Taylor Locke's record.

iPOD-worthy: 2, 5, 7

Rooney on MySpace. Official site.

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