Hot Chelle Rae has had an amazing year. The band has released mega-hit singles in addition to touring with an Irish alternative rock band, The Script. Now, to end 2011 with a bang, the band recently released its sophomore album, “Whatever.” It’s a collection of feelgood songs that never seem to get old. Although it’s not perfect by any means, the record offers listeners several pleasant surprises that hopefully show what’s next for the band.
If there’s a band that seems to be more known for its singles rather than its actual records, Hot Chelle Rae would be it. “I Like It Like That” and “Tonight Tonight” are amazing songs, but it’s the tracks that follow those two that are really special. Songs such as “Downtown Girl” and “Beautiful Freaks” are the record’s hidden gems; poppy, dance-inducing songs that are replay worthy.
The day their record came out, country music’s princess Taylor Swift tweeted about how the track “Keep You With Me” is “pop melodic goodness.” She couldn’t have put it any better. If there’s one song on the album that everyone should hear, “Keep You With Me” is it. As one of the few tracks on the record that directly mentions love, the lyrics are incredibly heartfelt and powerful; something listeners wouldn’t typically expect from the band. Combined with a more organic and toned down sound, the song flows perfectly; unlike anything Hot Chelle Rae has released in the past two years.
Perhaps the song with the most buzz is “Why Don’t You Love Me.” Featuring Demi Lovato, the track is good, but nothing amazing. The lyrics get the song’s point across, but it lacks the impact of “Beautiful Freaks” and “Keep You With Me.” It’s one of those tracks where less could have been more, as it sounds like the producing was overdone. While the lyrics aren’t bad, the unnecessary amount of background instruments kills the song’s emotion.
Overall, “Whatever” is a solid record. The band stuck to what it knows, poppy beats crafted for radio airtime. Although that’s not a bad thing, the songs with unexpected elements really stood apart from the rest. While it’s admirable the band has found a musical style that works for them, musical experimentation is a good thing. Hopefully the band members of Hot Chelle Rae will realize this and go beyond their comfort niche in their next album.