ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
The Jessica Fletchers
What Happened To The?
After two EPs of enduring obscurity, What Happened To The?
is The Jessica Fletchers' first full-length release. With '60s
and '70s themes and throwbacks ranging from Austin Powers to
Charlie's Angels being crammed down our throats with such fervor,
five dudes from Norway wanted a piece of the pie.
In a fusion between The Byrds, Iron Butterfly and all points
in between, What Happened To The? is a lesson in the grandiosity
of the rock era that preceded disco. It's all there: the twangy
treble saturated guitar, the unpolished organ riffs and the
random trumpet interludes, all of which come within a semi-tone
or two of obvious copyright infringement on existing classics.
At the end of the day, this is an unintrusive and fairly well-orchestrated
album, although the group's homage to the star detective of
Murder She Wrote as their namesake I can do without.
Hailing from Los Angeles, this five-piece band makes perfect
music for the soundtracks of movies that are slightly more
intelligent than American Pie. The first track, "Dynomite," is
poppy, lighthearted punk/rock 'n' roll - a little bit Oasis,
a little bit Sloan and a bit of Green Day. Coldplay would likely
approve of "Scream" and "What Are We Made From," with its melodic
piano strains and mushy professions of "you were the best love
I ever had/you hit me high, you hit me low." Meanwhile, the
opening bars of "Philosophofee" are reminiscent of the sounds
of the old Super Mario Brothers Nintendo games.
This album, which is the band's first effort, would be well-suited
to any White Stripes fan who doesn't mind male lead singers
who insist on using bizarre, almost falsetto voices. Ima Robot
is ideal for both "rocking out" and lying on a couch feeling
The Long Road
The most impressive part of Nickelback's The Long Road is
sadly the artwork and the additional features that are included,
like the "thank you" card for not downloading music online.
The Vancouver-based ensemble of Chad Kroeger (singer/guitarist/songwriter),
Ryan Peake (guitarist), Mike Kroeger (bassist) and Ryan Vikedal
(drummer) has been touring collectively since 1998.
The opening track, "Flat on the Floor," has a great sound
to it, showing the band is capable of producing a wicked grunge
riff on the guitar, with a strong presence of drums. Other
than "Another Whole in the Head," which resembles the latter
track in talent and capabilities, this album is pretty bland.
If you happen to be a Nickelback fanatic, acquire the songs
mentioned above through alternative methods. To buy this album
is to say you support the quality of this CD - or the lack