Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Pop Project-"Stars of Stage and Screen" and the Best Bonus Video Ever.

To be quite honest with you, I felt like I had heard all of the songs off of "Stars of Stage and Screen" by the Pop Project before. Obviously, if you have no idea the history behind the making of this album, you would think I was dissing them. A little background for those of you out of the loop: it took them FIVE years to record this album (once again, reinforcing the rumour that I started about them being illiterate). Technically, I have heard all of these songs before (I have seen them live at least five times). I am going to spend a long time dissecting this album. If someone puts THAT much effort into a record, might as well put that much effort into a review about said album, no? I heard this album cost them over $13 million to record.

All joking aside, my scene points are going to plummet after writing this review, for the following reasons: a) these guys are not 19-year-olds, b) they are actual, talented musicians, and c) none of them own baby blue skinny jeans (I could be completely wrong about this, though).

So, here is my essay about "Stars of Stage and Screen" by the Pop Project:

This is an album I would like my father to hear. Finally, I can prove to him that while everything made nowadays is regurgitated, it is, in fact, not "shit." Everything from the lyrics to the conjugation of the song structure is guided by a very careful hand (or hands, in this case). They use timing changes! IN THE MIDDLE OF SONGS! I was particularly drawn to the lyrics: heavy-handedly written in the perspective of the underdog. I felt like I was watching all of the recent Judd Apatow movies while listening to this record. "Stand In" sounds like it was ripped off a soundtrack to an Apatow romantic comedy. These guys have definitely felt more than enough cold shoulders from the cool kids of the world, but have channeled their bitter feelings into some beautifully crafted (and hilarious) lyrics.

Of all the tracks, my favourite one is "Hearts and Flowers." This is the kind of song I would like written about me. This is the kind of song I wish I could write about someone else. If you can't relate to the lyrics, "...I felt like my body was breaking, that my teeth were falling out one by one...because of you" then you are pretty much a heartless bastard. That’s OK, though. At least there are four guys in the world that seem to understand this feeling.

I kind of feel bad writing this review and not writing up a separate paragraph for every single song. This isn’t your typical band. This band is as close to a democracy as you can get in a band. Democracies in bands usually equate to watered-down crap. You need a bandleader. This band has four leaders. I don’t know how they don’t all hate each other (maybe they secretly do). As far as the three lead singers go, Zach Curd and Will Yates seem to be cut out of the same cloth of pop sensibility (did I just lose more points by using that term?). The songs Dave Lawson wrote, with the exception of the lounge-y “Stand In,” are a little more country, and a little less smooth than the other tracks. With all due respect, this guy can shred on guitar. He gives the songs by Curd and Yates that extra “pop” of zas*.

If you want a good laugh, a laugh that will hurt so bad because ‘it’s true, and that’s what makes it funny,” then “Never Got a Break” is the song for you. This is also a song I would like to dedicate to about 50% of the bands I have ever encountered. This song might also aptly describe the Pop Project in a couple of years if they do indeed never get a break. These dudes take their music seriously, but they aren’t afraid to poke fun at themselves or others. Kudos to that.

I almost feel like “House of Books” does not fit on this album. It’s almost too poignant in comparison to the rest of the songs, musically and lyrically. “House of Books” truly showcases this band’s diversity, and gives them an illusion of edginess. Hot. Zach Curd, if you played your keyboard “solos” on the most metal guitar you could possibly find, then I would be head-banging until I got whiplash. Metal? The Pop Project? I think they could do it if they cared to do it.

When you’re feeling down, pop in this CD**. Dance with reckless abandon. If you do not feel better by the second track, just keep listening. If by the last track you still aren’t feeling all right, I know a couple of really good mental health care professionals in the area. I think you need someone to talk to.

*Do yourself a favour and watch Metalocalypse sometime.
**Don't ask your friends to burn you this CD. Don't be a pussy, go to one of their shows and buy it. And if you can't make it to a show, order it online at Suburban Sprawl's website. Believe me, you will want to see the bonus video. Adam Kempa dances. Will Yates joins in. Adam Kempa also drops the eff bomb a bunch of times. Saying that word is hilarious.

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