Reviewed by Sarah Vasquez.
|Rating: 8.0 of 10.|
It just needs to be said: American Hi-Fi knows how to write some pop hits. And that comes as no surprise. This is the same band that gave us the always catchy “Flavor of the Weak” back in 2001. And for the past five years, frontman Stacy Jones and guitarist Jamie Arentzen have worked with Miley Cryus. Jones has produced other artists such as Plain White T’s, Meg and Dia, and the list of their accomplishments just goes on.
Their newest album, Fight the Frequency, is filled with catchy powerpop song after catchy powerpop song. And the guys present them flawlessly and shamelessly in every way that they can. “Lookout for Hope” brings the feel-good rock anthem that reassures people that yes, “It can only get better,” while on the flipside, the more aggressive guitar-driven “Frat Clump” is great for those moments when you just want to rock that attitude out.
Basically, Fight the Frequency is a pretty cut-and-dry pop-rock album. You’ll want to dance. American Hi-Fi can perform this music in an arena filled with teenagers who’ll have a great time jumping up and down and out-singing Jones. This would be the soundtrack during that moment when that person you’ve been lusting over finally realizes that it’s been you all along.
That being said, this album’s weakness is the lyrics. “When the sky falls like the sunset’s goodbye…” (“Where Love Is A Lie”)? Come on guys, seriously. How old are you? You’ve been in the game for awhile. It just seems like they spend so much studio time fine-tuning the music that when it came time for lyrics, it was basically like “Whoops, we still need lyrics,” and took the easy way out.
Usually when an album is too accessible, there will be those people who just can’t admit or appreciate liking a great pop album like this or categorize them as guilty pleasures. However, Pitchfork followers and listeners who don’t fall into the CW TV network demographics might have a hard time stomaching the sometimes cheesy lyrics. But pop music isn’t exactly known for it’s hard hitting social commentary. If Lady Gaga can sing a song about some guy eating her heart in “Monster,” American Hi-Fi can surely be forgiven for remembering how a girl radiates like “chemicals react on acetate” (“Acetate”).
Isn’t pop music supposed to be fun anyway?