Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Carolina Liar – Show Me What I’m Looking For

Only the heaviest hits…


Chris Boeckmann: Phew, I was a bit worried after finding myself slightly disappointed with the 2009 efforts of both Snow Patrol and the Fray. Now this, this is what I was looking for. Gorgeous melody, heartfelt delivery, BIG chorus and, best of all, church bells! By the way, this is not Christian rock, I checked.

Anthony Easton: It’s praise and worship music, which contiunally hints at hitting the charts but just fails — the key is that lust for Christ and lust for generic romantic partner become so interchangeable that they function as the same object. Often, when explicitly Christan bands break through from the genre ghetto, it is because of a secular as opposed to a religious love song (c.f. Sixpence None the Richer). Carolina Liar, with their rock and roll version of the sinner’s prayer, shot in Vegas, waking up after an endless hangover, if done well, would be an anomaly to the cross over pattern, but not to the theological impulses of evangelical Christianity.

Dave Moore: Max Martin cleans up a couple of schlub rockers, provides hooks, church bells. An aural shave and a haircut works for these guys (basically just the American lead, Chad, and a bunch of Swedes), though Max doesn’t have much to work with in the singer’s pitiful post-Coldplay mannerisms; dude even wusses out on the high notes. But O, those guitar solos! The gratuitous gospel choir! The production lays it on so thick you almost start to think this guy’s worth the effort.

Anthony Miccio: For some reason I thought Carolina Liar was a Hinder-esque VD depository, but this is post-Bono prayer-pop if I’ve ever heard it. The music is smoothly grandiose but the pleading lyrics need a more dramatic singer, like Win Butler, to save them from banality.

Jordan Sargent: Modern rock needs more overblown excessiveness and less Incubus and Offspring singles.

Chuck Eddy: May be “the next Kings of Leon” regardless, in the “sounds more like a lousy late U2 imitation than Southern rock” sense. Except also more Brit-pop than Kings of Leon’s fake grunge, evidently.

Michaelangelo Matos: How can something this plainly, totally Euro sound so frighteningly middle-American? The British/Euro rock that blanketed the U.S. landscape via classic rock radio and then, I dunno, Europe’s “The Final Countdown.” This sounds more like Supertramp, but not totally, and while its grand-sweeping tune is gonna stay in my head whether I like it or not, it’s not going to bother me as much as it could once it recurs.

Tom Ewing: Carolina Liar make horribly heavy weather of a simple song: they seem to have borrowed their “big music” playbook from Keane, and this is a similar bubble of nothing. It also reminds me a bit of the overdone fag-end of Britpop, which, added to the Sweden effect, will probably win it more fans than it deserves.

Iain Mew: Bland, but wears its lyrical despair lightly enough that it passes by rather than grating. Also reminds heavily of James Morrison, suggesting that the answer might just be a Nelly Furtado guest appearance.

Hillary Brown: Sort of a big, pretty Coldplay thing, in that it’s all anthemic, and if you look at it under a microscope it melts. So don’t do that.

Additional Scores

Rodney J. Greene: [5]
Martin Kavka: [4]
Ian Mathers: [1]
Edward Okulicz: [8]
Jessica Popper: [9]
Martin Skidmore: [1]

3 Responses to “Carolina Liar – Show Me What I’m Looking For”

  1. I’m amazed at the many good marks here – despite Max Martin, this sounds like Coldplay and Keane to me.

  2. Let’s put it this way: these guys are to the Fray as Hinder are to Nickelback.

  3. Sounds like Keane to me – not bad. By the way, to Anthony Easton – don’t take much stock in your review considering you thought it was shot in “Vegas” – don’t recall much beach-front in Las Vegas. Maybe you should actually pay attention to what you are listening to/watching before you critique it.