Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Hot Chelle Rae – Honestly

Prepare your brackets; it’s the TSJ Final Four of Punchability!


Anthony Easton: I never know who the audience are — I am assuming sixteen-year-old suburbans, but are they being sold or are they dictating content, and if they’re dictating, does it mean anything that it sounds like mall punk filtered through the Everly Brothers, but with more digital grimcrackery?

Edward Okulicz: The high notes have the inhuman (not as in difficult to replicate) sound of Maroon 5 and it lacks even the modest party vibe of “Tonight Tonight.” Points are for the singalongable middle eight. I saw these boys supporting Taylor Swift and if I’m being generous this is purpose-built for clapping along by a few thousand underage girls. It’s just not built for anything else.

Iain Mew: Usually if a song is annoying or bad I want to listen to it at least a couple of times to understand the full scale of just how bad it is and to pinpoint what is wrong with it. I haven’t done that with “Honestly.” I experience such a strong reaction to it that I can’t even bring myself to listen to the whole song again to work it out. Its puppy-dog overeagerness? Its transparent use of every production trick in the pop-punk book? Just something about the vocal tone? I’m not sure, and I don’t think I even want to be.

Jer Fairall: A toss up whether this guy’s more of a dick for taunting his ex on Facebook or for running the sound of post-millennial pop-punk through a couple more unneeded layers of production gloss, but in each case I’m willing to give him something of a pass for simply responding to generational norms that he had no hand in inventing. Or maybe it’s the wide-eyed innocence I sense in his delivery and tone, the winsome way he breezes through the chorus, or the cheeky confidence of “don’t act right when you know you’re dead wrong,” the kind of tell-off pop usually reserves exclusively for girls. I’m sure I’ll get around to hating this lot as much as I should some day, but today is not that day.

Alfred Soto: In 1995 Deep Blue Something would have recorded it. What gives it a soupçon of interest are the epicene vocals; I can’t tell if it’s a man or woman singing. Worse, it lacks any sexual ambivalence. 

Andrew Ryce: Feel-good mall rock. Bonus points for the lead singer dude wearing the same outfit as his ex during the first chorus.

Brad Shoup: Earworms aplenty: if they wanted to make the “ah ah” bit sound like the classic playground taunt, they blessedly failed. It’s made for Rock Band easy mode: buzzy bass hitting on the two without fail, reliable jumps into falsetto. Call them the Re-jects.

Katherine St Asaph: Why would I love this if it was by female pop-punkers, like Liveonrelease or Tuuli or even Avril? Why would the body-glitter processing and clearance-rack riffs sound polished, not tacky? Maybe it’s because its movie equivalent wouldn’t be Bridesmaids but Mean Girls — it wouldn’t merely substitute female bros for male but sound like things women might actually say. (The particular blend of condescension and apathy here could only come from a guy.) Or maybe it’s because this rips off Kelly Clarkson once per minute.

Jonathan Bradley: At least Lit could identify their own worst enemy.

One Response to “Hot Chelle Rae – Honestly”

  1. This was very fun to screencap. Not Rammstein fun, but still.