After the release of Cute is What We Aim For's first album, "The Same Old Bloodrush with a New Touch"
, in 2006, the band went through a lot of drama, member changes and rumors. When I heard that they had finalized their line-up and were recording their sophomore album, I wasn't sure what to expect. What came out was Rotation
, an album with a more mature sound and catchy hooks, easily one of my favorite albums so far of 2008.
The cd starts of with their first single, "Practice Makes Perfect
". A good choice, as it is easily one of the catchiest songs on the whole album. It gives an in site to what may have been going on these past two years with the chorus being "I've become/what a mother wouldn't want in a son/and I have done a few things I regret/but practice makes perfect/practice makes perfect sense to me."
The next song is "Doctor
", yet another song that they had released to the public before dropping the album. It is very different from their previous sound, and my least favorite track of the album. Hearing this one song is the one song that had made me originally doubt the rest of the cd.
" comes "Navigate Me
", the catchiest track on the album. "Navigate Me
" is the kind of track that would make a great single. Seeing the band live, and watching the crowd's reaction only confirmed my feelings toward this song. To have your cd only being released that day, but having the whole crowd singing "navigate me through your body/navigate me/navigate me through your body/navigate/I love the way you dive on top of me/so navigate me through your body" was an amazing thing to be witnessing.
My favorite track on the album is "Miss Sobriety
", followed closely by "Hollywood
". "Miss Sobriety
" is about making a change in Shaant's life, going from using alcohol to make himself happy, to enjoying the ride that his music is taking him on. It focusses on realizing the effect that drinking, or any addictive behavior, can have on an unsuspecting victim - "you caused the confidence/but you never taught it how to stay/and if I learned one thing/it's that you always have a price to pay".
" stands out as being one of the most distinctive tracks on the album. It's an upbeat track that enlists the use of horns and has Shaant 'experimenting', in which there are a few parts where some would almost say he raps. It's also a statement making track, speaking out against the government and wanting to go back to the war things were before wars and the current political leaders.
" Shaant makes mention of someone's 'left side, [being their] strong side', wording seen in their previous album. "I've always thought the left/was your strongest side/but when it comes to you/you know I can't decide" possibly references the changes that the band has gone through since their last album, signifying that things are different now, and may be different then how they had once apeard. It's one of the slower tracks on the album, along with "Safe Ride
", a song that could also reference changes as the words "no one is harder on me than myself" are sung. "Safe Ride
" is yet another track that would make for a good single, one that has a similar sound to their previous album, yet a new matureness and is just as catchy.
"The Lock Down Denial
" and "Marriage to Millions
" seem to be the blandest tracks on the album. When looking at an over view, these two songs are easily forgotten, as they don't stand out as the others do during the first 30 seconds or so. "Marriage to Millions
" sounds like a track that any other pop-punk band could create. Opinions change with both as listening continues and the chorus' arise. A little listening to both tracks lead to words that can make a listener think, and a chorus that could make anyone sing along.
The most outstanding track on the whole album is the "Untitled
" track. It is 42 seconds of nothing but vocals and an undistracting background sound. If there is any song to show of the vocal range, the "Untitled
" track is the one to do so, it sounds immaculate and clear, and the harmonies at the end sound great. The few lines during the track are also some of the best, "my lips went white/my spine teased tight/I realized it was gonna be a long night".
Left is "Loser
" and "Do What You Do
", two tracks that don't do much for the listener. They are the least memorable and sound a bit similar. Neither is bad by any means, but both slack in comparision to the rest of the album.
I was surprised at the result of "Rotation
", but genuinely pleased. The four members of Cute is What We Aim For, Shaant, Jeff, Tom and Dave, seem to be the perfect match, the best line up that could be. This album truely shows each member, and the band as a whole, to the best of their musical ability. It truely is a "Rotation
" from their previous album, and I'm leaving it with a 4.7 out of 5.
Label: Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic
Release Date: June 24, 2008
My rating: 4.7 out of 5
Ashley Fox is a staff writer and assistant regional head of the East Coast region at Musiqtone.com. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out this feedback form below.