Punk successfully ‘goes pop’ with fifth release
The collaborative effort, “Punk Goes Pop 5,” released by Fearless Records on Nov. 6, is again tasked with the daunting project of turning over emphasized manufactured pop into tracks with a more aggressive and darker sheen that actually warrants a listen. The fifth edition to this anthology, featuring various artists such as Memphis May Fire, Mayday Parade and The Maine, unbuttons the jacket of radio boredom with splices of racy death metal and revamped creations, but fails to take the entire jacket off, wearing the colors of pop a little too loudly.
Despite the mask of derangement the instruments and voice wear in the songs climax, the body of tracks never stray far from the originals that are being covered. There is nothing overtly punk about it. The entree of lead singers display a more R&B influence not unlike Justin Timberlake, which is at least excellently delivered in pitch and range. But then momentarily transitions into a hardcore false duplicity that attempts to give themselves up to darkness. At least two of the tracks fall into the house/techno category, and one never leaves the den of easy-listening/alternative.
Mayday Parades’s arrangement of Goyte’s “Somebody that I used to know” leaves the pessimism behind, quickens the tempo, and brightens up the overall color of the music. While The Maine’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” gives off a quaff of gloom in a decelerated and somewhat sombre version of the original by Cyndi Lauper. Memphis May Fire’s “Grenade” screams their way into a unique doomsday ballad with a twist of masculinity. Craig Owens’ alternative sketch “Paradise” seems oddly misplaced in a collection focused on dimming the shade on structured pop. In truth, the album is more likely to be found on the local Hollister’s playlist than an aggressive mosh-pit, but that doesn’t stop the album’s texture from over-shadowing the other four releases of “Punk Goes Pop.”
On the whole the album’s dark side comes in fragments while the bawdy boy band charm commands the outfit of songs. Allowing the album to speak more to a general market than to one individual genre. Punk has unanimously been replaced with polished pop-culture in this sense. Still, the fifth and most recent release of the album is the closest thing to punk yet and brings hope to listeners around the country. The record will not come up short in commercial success.
The Setonian gives this album 3 out of 5 stars.
Benjamin Rader can be reached at Benjamin.email@example.com edu.