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Friday, February 22nd
The Critics Corner: Albums
All Time Low
KSM- Read Between the Lines
Teenage pop/rockers craft solid, stellar debut
Read Between the Lines
Name: "Read Between The Lines"
Label: Walt Disney Records
Release Date: September 22 ,2009
My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Review written by: Ann Frohoff
It’s about time. Finally, an all girl “rock band” that’s worth their weight in gold. Call me biased, fine, but I’ve been following Walt Disney Records' chic teen 5-piece band, made up of: Shelby/vocals, Shea Padilla/guitar, Katie Cecil/guitar, Sophia Mellon/bass and Kate Cabebe on drums, for nearly a year now; and since the beginning I’ve been hooked. So when I was assigned this album review, I was elated.

In review (in no certain order) of KSM’s 13-track, pop-rock debut album, “Read Between the Lines” is filled with high energy, relatable messages angst ridden high-schoolers can cling to, giving tween and teen girls a true age appropriate female voice they’ve been starving for in this male dominated field. The first several, lyrically catchy tracks “Don’t Rain On My Parade” (“…don’t bring me down, I’m not gonna go there, don’t break my holiday….I won’t let the clouds get in my way….just wanna have some fun, I’m not the only one…”), “Crazy Over You” (You’ve made a mess of me…you got me, you got me, I’m not complaining, lock me up throw away the key…) and “Read Between The Lines” (You say it’s all right, but something’s wrong, I can see it in your eyes…I’m not stupid I see through it, I can read between the lines…don’t worry I know how to say goodbye) are made up of decently hard hitting guitar movements (Shea adn Katie), tossed with flavored harmonies and bouncy, thumping vibes (thanks to Sophia and Kate).

The bands ability to draw you in with their infectious blood pumping, upbeat propulsions is undeniable. Ballads are hard to come by on this album, which in my opinion is fine, KSM’s take on slowing it down happens with their 4th track “Every time You Go” and as sad as it is to say goodbye (however many times), I’m waving farewell to this one. There will always be another “one” waiting around the corner or better yet, waiting in line. I’ll stick with the upbeat, strong ass-kicking lyrics of “Distracted” (...when you come around my heads in the clouds, I can’t seem to concentrate at all…when I see your face I get caught in a daze…) and “Don’t Come Crying to Me”. The 5th and 11th tracks, “Saturdays and Sundays” and “Slow Motion” are unforgettable, and get lost in the mix of ‘mor’betta’ songs.  A perfect change up, which pleasantly surprised me, is in the 10th track, “Best Friends Forever” which starts off with acoustic strums and transitions into a thoughtful guitar laden arrangement (…I been there once or twice, it’s you that made things right, I’m trying to be there for you..hey wasn’t it you, who’s always been there for me, don’t forget what we’ve been through together…).  The final track, lucky number 13, is the bonus remake of Cheap Tricks 1977 song “I Want You To Want Me” – which KSM absolutely crushed. 

Overall KSM’s talent flourishes, I dare to compare the no holds bar vocal strength and spunky stage presence of Shelby to Paramore’s Hayley Williams and 80’s rock diva Pat Benetar with a little of Gwen Stefani thrown in. Sharing lead vocal status on a several tracks is Katie Cecil, with her sugary sweet range, which compliments Shelby’s vocal stretches. All in all the band members carry their own weight, which is refreshing to see these girls do, at such a young age.  I can also vouch for their live show, not very many bands can say they sound just like their record, well, this band definitely does not disappoint.

As these girls grow and their life experiences add to their bag of tricks, like touring with Disney’s Demi Lovato and Mitchel Musso. I can only hope that their voices ring true in future lyrical story-telling and not through a hired hand; shining through, making it and keeping it real for them and their fans.
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