Why the hell am I reviewing this after in the midst of an onslaught of doom metal & lo-fi albums? Why not! I was pretty fuckin’ curious to hear what a band featuring James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins), Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne), Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick) being fronted by Taylor Hanson, of well, Hanson would sound like. Plus the initial disgust of co-workers and my girlfriend at their debut single only made me that much more curious. “You have to hear how bad this sounds” was what I kept hearing up until I was sat down and shown the debut video for “Kind of a Girl”. Which at the end of I just scratched my head and said “This is what you think is so awful? This is just straight up Power-Pop.”
Tinted Windows is unoffensive, unremarkable, over-produced yet still catchy paint by numbers Power-Pop. A little bit of Cheap Trick, some Foreigner, a lot of Matthew Sweet & a smidgen of Nelson-esque rock balladry dumbed down (yes even Power-Pop could be dumbed down) for Disney Channel Tweenagers. This is a top heavy album of 5 or so tracks that like it or not can worm there way into the back of your head waiting to come out when you’re really drunk and a cab’s radio is tuned to z100. Is that really that bad? I guess that depends on how seriously you take your Power-Pop and or hate for anything blatantly mainstream. If I had an 11 year old, I’d rather they got into some 3rd rate Power-Pop like rather than any number of other crappy things on the radio or TV.
So is this album any good? I wouldn’t go so far as saying that, but it has given me some guilty pleasures for the Summer and for Karaoke so it is a success in that regard, and I couldn’t ask for any more from commercial pop.- My Pal the Crook