–by Robert Wilkins
The Summer Set drops their latest album, Blossom, this Friday, September 9. Our staff got a chance to check out their first album in six years ahead of time, and here is our take on the new material:
What a great high energy offering from the Summer Set! There’s enough attitude for the most diehard fans at the left of the dial and enough pop to have 14-year-old girls dreaming of puppy love. And if you think this band is a one trick pony there is even a guest performance from Gym Class Heroes own Travie McCoy.
The production of this record is very clean and serves its pop sensibilities well. Brian Logan Dales has the voice of a star ala Adam Levine. The brothers Gomez hold their own on bass and guitar while drummer Jess Bowen is the real deal. Back in the days when fans actually bought records this would surely have gone multi-platinum.
There is not a weak song on this album but there are definite standouts. Aside from the intro, the first real song is “Street Lightning”. I must ask. Has a more perfect pop rock song ever been written? It leaves me feeling happy with visions of dancing in a field on a sunshiny day. The song “Teenagers” is an incredible pop punk song that reflects a young adult’s visions of teenage love and showcases a duet with BLD and Chrissy Costanza of Against the Current.
My personal favorite song from this record is the one least likely to get radio airplay. If “FTS” is something you have never felt, you should just “shut up and let me live.” This danceable anthem not only has beautiful piano and horn parts throughout, but it features a strong rap performance from Travie McCoy. “Hard Candy” and “Famous” are each pop punk gems and the punk attitude is definitely strongest in these songs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The record ends with a heartfelt emo ballad called “Back Together”. It showcases BLD’s vocals along with acoustic guitar and a string arrangement. The song is very convincing and will appeal to anyone that has ever been heart broken.
This type of music isn’t normally to my taste, but the record is a true masterpiece, nonetheless. The musicianship and songwriting ability throughout has the ability to cross genres and speak to the masses. The Summer Set has converted me into a fan, and I look forward to seeing them live at a venue near me.
1. The Color Of Everything (Intro)
2. Street Lightning
3. My Own Medicine
4. Teenagers (feat. Against The Current)
6. Hard Candy
8. Back Together
The Summer Set is Brian Logan Dales (vocals, piano), Jess Bowen (drums), John Gomez (guitar, vocals, production), and Stephen Gomez (bass, production).