Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Album Review: Punk Goes Pop 5

It's that moment we've all been waiting for, the first full play of the new 'Punk Goes...' album. This latest record features the likes of Memphis May Fire, Mayday Parade and The Word Alive, so this can't go wrong, right?

 The album kicks off with Memphis May Fire's cover of Bruno Mars' Grenade. Fearless Records kindly uploaded this one to YouTube before the album release so we could all get a taste of what was to come, and they chose a great track to whet our appetites with - it's everything a 'Punk Goes...' track should be.

 The same can't be said for Call Me Maybe, covered by Upon This Dawning, which was leaked as a free download by Fearless when the album was announced. It sounds messy, there's a hundred things going on at once, and it sounds like Upon This Dawning couldn't decide what angle they wanted for it. Shame, it had such potential. Kudos for slipping the F-bomb into such a cutesy song though.

Mayday Parade once again produce a flawless track, though that's no surprise because why else would they so often appear on 'Punk Goes...' records?! Their version of Somebody That I Used To Know is undeniably an improvement on the original, making the song sound like their own.

We Came As Romans did what they could with Glad You Came, but it really isn't anything special. Like Moths To Flames did a total U-turn with Some Nights. There's not much more to say than that there's very little of the original track left in there, and you'll either love it or you'll hate it.

Unfortunately, Breathe Carolina's rendition of Billie Jean is...well, Breathe Carolina. It's flat and boring until the chorus, and then even that does no justice to the original. For the most part, it's a highly synthesised cover, and it isn't until the last minute that it shows any real promise. And then it fades out and leaves you disappointed.

We Found Love is exactly what you'd expect from Forever The Sickest Kids. They'd do well to perform this live when they're on tour. As the original, it's still a party song, and they've done well to give it their own twist.

Issues succeed in removing all the Justin Beiber from Boyfriend. It's one of the catchiest tracks on the album, but it's definitely not got the teen popstar's stamp on anymore.

Girls Just Want To Have Fun by The Maine is different. Any preconceived ideas of how this track will sound, throw them away. It's a nice breakdown in this album, after the loud and heavy after several tracks, and The Maine slow Cyndi Lauper down perfectly.  

Crown The Empire follow Memphis May Fire's lead with Payphone, it's a good example of a 'Punk Goes...' track. There's just enough of the band's personality without going overboard, while still keeping the essentials of the original song intact.

There's not much of a difference between Coldplay's version of Paradise and the cover by Craig Owens featured on 'Punk Goes Pop 5'. It's just as irritating, repetitive and bland as the original.

The Word Alive's Mercy is easy to shrug off. It's not memorable or overly catchy, it's just sort of...there. 'Punk Goes Pop 5' would probably be better off if it wasn't there.

Final track, SECRETS' cover of Gym Class Heroes' Ass Back Home, is catchy and a decent enough track to round the album off. It wouldn't be surprising if these guys made a return to the 'Punk Goes...' series next time round.

Overall, it's 'Punk Goes Pop 5', and it features some of the most popular bands in the industry. Some song choices were bad, some were fantastic, and obviously the album can't be amazing through-and-through - there were bound to be a few flops in there. That said, the good tracks are fantastic, and it's definitely worth picking up a copy when it's released on November 6th.

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