Hey Monday

Beneath It All EP

Written by: DR on 29/09/2010 00:20:16

Hey Monday fans out there were expecting "Beneath It All" to be their sophomore album, but new label Columbia decided that half of the proposed songs were not fit for human ears, or so I imagine, scrapped them, released the approved ones as this EP, and told the band to continue writing new stuff for an actual full-length due out early next year. The EP marks a change for Hey Monday, continue reading to find out why.

"Beneath It All" sees Hey Monday distancing themselves away from the pop punk of "Hold On Tight" and firmly into pop territory, and one can't help but suspect signing to a label like Columbia has had such an effect on their song-writing. This change may take some getting used to, but after a few listens you should begin to warm to it. Opener "Wish You Were Here" sounds right out of "Hold On Tight", so if you were a fan of their debut you will immediately take to it. Thereafter is where their change in sound starts to reveal itself, beginning with "Wondergirl"; production tricks aren't hard to notice for the first 30 seconds, as they are right out of every pop song from the last 10 years. Oh, yes, the production is as polished as production comes; Cassadee's vocals are pitch-perfect, and there are plenty of little effects, big and small, throughout. For instance, in first single "I Don't Wanna Dance" Cassadee sings "You hit me with a break" and there's the sound of a car breaking in the background - ain't that cool? If you actually think so, the rest of song is probably to your liking, with other lyrics like "I don't wanna dance / you blew your chance to rock my night away" and a low dance-y hum just destined for radio-glory. Not really, the song is shallow, over-produced, and not even catchy enough to be a hit. Now, "Mr. Pushover" is a potential hit, ironically sounding relatively free from blatant studio tricks, instead allowing Cassadee plenty of space to work with in terms of vocal melodies, and when she does, she crafts a damn fine chorus, which is the story of the EP in many ways.

The intended audience will lap this up, but for those of us who aren't 14 year old girls yet still reserve a place for guilty-pleasures such as this, there's enough here for us as well. Pretty much everything about it is average, run of the mill, nothing special, over-produced, but it is pop. And despite being on a 'soulless' major label, and despite half of this being filler, the killer moments of "Beneath It All" still have enough about them to suggest it's still really Hey Monday underneath, and Hey Monday are still pretty good.

Download: Wish You Were Here, Mr. Pushover
For The Fans of: Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift, Lights, ... Paramore?
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 17.08.2010
Decaydance/Columbia Records

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