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The Critics Corner: Albums
Runner Runner
Runner Runner | Runner Runner
Long awaited debut full length an excellent, solid effort for SoCal alt-rockers
Name: "Runner Runner"
Label: Capitol/EMI
Release Date: February 15, 2011
My rating: 4.7 out of 5

Review written by:  Amy Walker

In the cold, snowy winter, the first thing most people think of when they hear California is "warm". However, California is home to many up and coming musical acts. Runner Runner, a five piece band from Huntington Beach, CA, is one of those acts. The guys, Ryan Ogren, Peter Munters, Nick Bailey, Jon Berry, and James Ulrich, are no stranger to the music scene though, having been formerly known as Over It. With a new name and a new sound, it only seemed fitting to have a new album. The CD is titled Runner Runner and was released on February 15, 2011 through Capitol Records.

The album opens with the first single, "So Obvious." This was the first song of theirs to get radio play, but definitely not the last. It begins kind of quiet, but about ten seconds in, you hear them shout "GO" and it starts to pick up. It's one of those songs where you can't sit still when you're listening to it. That carries into the second song, "Unstoppable." It's about doing things the way you want and not letting anyone else get in the way and not caring what anyone else thinks.

The album slows down with "Papercuts", a song about how if we love someone, we need to tell them before it is too late. Though they may not have a clue, you shouldn’t let it wait another day. It starts out quiet with just the acoustic guitar, and the rest of the band enters in during the chorus. The album picks back up again for "Heart Attack." When it first starts, it doesn't sound like Runner Runner. When I first listened to it, I thought it sounded quite a bit like Daft Punk, but it doesn't take very long before you hear Ryan's familiar voice. It's a really catchy song about love and how it makes us crazy sometimes.

"Hey Alli" is the bands second single, another cute love song, only this one is about going to great lengths to support that person in making their dreams come true. It's about always being behind them, no matter what it may take. Relationships are such a common topic to sing about, so much of the album is full of songs about them. "She's My Kinda Girl" focuses on the beginning of a relationship, when you meet someone and you just know that she's the one. "I Can't Wait" continues in that same direction, only this is further along the relationship. It's the slowest, all acoustic song on the album, and it's about getting ready to marry and spend the rest of your life with that person. Of course, not all relationships end up that way. "Life After You" focuses on moving on after breaking up. Anyone who has dealt with break up, knows it takes a little time to move on from that person, and this song is basically saying that life will go on. It may not be easy, but you'll realize that you can still be yourself and do what you want to do with that person.

Like "Unstoppable," not all songs on this album are about love and relationships. "Falling" is another song that really makes you think. Have you ever been so far down in doubt that you just don't think you can go on? The chorus of this song states, "If you think you're falling, just get up." Sometimes, all you really need is that one person telling you to get up and not give up.

The band put "Running Away" as the closing track, which I believe fits perfectly. It sends a great message. It is saying that even though we may have these feelings that are always surrounding us, whether it may be that we don't fit in or we don't like the way we are, there is so much out there. There is so much life to live, but you have to let yourself live it. This could be the start of something new.

Overall, Runner Runner has done an excellent job for their first full length release. None of the songs disappoint, and the majority of the album has you wanting to get up and move. It is definitely an album worth purchasing, especially so you can sing along when they are in your town, supporting A Rocket To The Moon this spring.
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