Tickle Me Pink

Madeline

Written by: TL on 05/12/2008 14:36:59

Whether or not Tickle Me Pink have produced the most instantly catchy song of 2008 with "Typical" off their debut album "Madeline", I guess is going to depend on what kind of bunnies Fall Out Boy pull out of their hats on Tuesday, two weeks from now. In any case, the band may have set themselves up for failure by featuring the (stunningly hot) adult film actress Gabriella Fox in the single's explicit video, buying our attention with the gradual removal of her clothes. Clever marketing ploy or controversial provocation, the 15 minutes of fame may end up coming at the cost of any kind of credibility you'd have left if your band played emotive pop/rock under a name like Tickle Me Pink.

Personally though, I'm willing to climb off my high horse and give the rest of "Madeline" a listen before condemning these guys. I think it's only fair that since every scene girl within 5 miles of singer/bassist Sean Kennedy will be drooling all over his piercings, the band has included some eye candy for us guys in their video as well. As we all know, any guy that claims to dislike looking at a pretty lady getting undressed is either gay or lying, so as long as TMP are more than a one hit wonder, I'm willing to forgive them the cheese.

And for the first three tracks that follow "Typical" after it opens the album, the band easily maintains their level, with each song being another slight variation of said one's style. Old Hawthorne Heights fans can think of "Niki FM" here, and remember the lullaby-ish verses and explosive choruses, the dynamics of which are similar to the ones here, except that the lyrical content is significantly less emo than the "cut my wrists and black my eyes" kind, and the overall feel is more American alternative rock alá Third Eye Blind than it is vintage emo. Especially the title track sticks to the mind with its building "they found her body laying by the riverside!" - never mind that it seems to contradict what I just said about the lyrics.

After that, the band cranks the speed and volume up for a bit, effectively producing a more straightforward alterna-rock sound reminiscent of The Audition, which is welcome enough after four tracks that have been slightly similar, however, it is a problem that the songs in this category doesn't seem to pack quite the same punch as the preceding ones. Instead, the decrease in dynamics make them sound like what you'd initially expected Tickle Me Pink to sound like - rather generic. For the remaining duration of the album, the band mostly try to find a worthy alternative to the formula they successfully milked on their opening tracks, resulting in a more inconsistent level of quality. I for one am not unimpressed with the whispering outro of "The Answer" that leads into "I Can't Breathe" which then proceeds to make a good attempt at tearing things up...

... Overall though, there's no denying that "Madeline" as an album loses some of its breath about halfway through, and hence it can't be called an unequivocal renouncement of the bad preconceptions the band must suffer as a side effect of their affair with Ms. Fox. The songs that are good are more than worthy of a fair share of listens, but four or five of them simply aren't enough, and it seems we have to wait for the band's sophomore to see if they can really impress, hoping of course that the flirt with cheap fame haven't prepared them to a complete sell out and fall from grace. Time will tell, for now, go watch the "Typical" video again, you know you want to, you cheeky bastard.

Download: Typical, Madeline, I Can't Breathe
For The Fans Of: The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Hawthorne Heights, The Audition
Listen: myspace.com/ticklemepinkmusic

Release Date 01.07.2008
Wind-Up Records

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