Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Veronicas - "Hook Me Up" (album)

The Veronicas are twin sisters Lisa and Jessica Origliasso. Formerly from Albany Creek on Brisbane's northside, they now reside in L.A. The band first hit in 1995 with "4ever" a cross between bubblegum, power pop and punk which reached No.2 on the charts, and since then have been favourites with Top 40 audiences in Australia, America, Europe and more recently the UK. "Hook Me Up" is their second album for Sire Records, and explores a more darker and introspective side to the band as well as veering more to the combination of electro rock in a similar style to Gary Numan and Regurgitator.

Label: Sire Records
Distributor: Warner Music Group
Release Year: 2007
Catalogue Number: 9362-499154-2 (CD)
Producers: Toby Gad, Greg Wells, John Feldmann, Josh Alexander and Billy Steinberg
Purchase album here:

1) UNTOUCHED - Opening up with some gorgeous strings, it quickly goes into an electro thrash track. It tears along at breakneck speed like a Japanese express train. Jess and Lisa half-talk their way through this song and it has a great rousing chorus. A good choice for their second single, and the video is just as excellent. The song is also their debut hit in the UK, having peaked at No.6 in the charts with a different video.

2) HOOK ME UP - The title track is The Veronicas first official No.1 Australian single, and I hope that it will not be their last. It's a pleasant dance pop track about wanting to just get away from the pressures of mainstream society. Relies a lot on electronic effects, but it has some fine piano playing.

3) THIS IS HOW IT FEELS - The intro for this song reminds me of Kim Wilde's 80's classic "Kids In America". The song is basically their frustration over fair weather friends who only call them when it suits them, but when needed the most they are nowhere to be seen. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there like that.

4) THIS LOVE - It's an album track, but for some reason the lyrics for this song (and quite a few others) aren't included on the album's cover.

5) I CAN'T STAY AWAY - Written by Josh Alexander and well known pop songwriter Billy Steinberg, it isn't a bad song but it just didn't make any impact on me.

6) TAKE ME ON THE FLOOR - The bloopy keyboards on this track remind a lot of ex-pat Brisbane band Regurgitator, and I think that's a good thing because they are one of my fave Australian bands of all time. I like that croaky scream towards the end of the track!

7) I DON'T WANNA WAIT - This is a more softer track with some dramatic strings and nice percussion and acoustic guitar, but it has a tough side to it. The girls attack this song really well, and if you listen closely to the end, Lisa messes the lyrics up a bit and you can hear her giggle at her mistake.

8) POPULAR - Basically a rant over hangers-on and groupies who freeload off celebrities because of their financial situation. I like this song a lot, and they sing it well. This was released as the fourth single in Australia, but it did not chart.

9) REVENGE IS SWEETER (THAN YOU EVER WERE) - Wow! This is quite possibly the most angriest and abrasive track on the album. The backing track is pleasant, and is quite listenable. It should contend with "In Another Life" to be released as the third single from the album. This is the Veronicas dark side at its best in my honest opinion.

10) SOMEONE WAKE ME UP - Again, the lyrics for this song are not included on the album (maybe they should put out a sheet music compilation of their songs for those who want to learn them). Not a bad song, but it's not my personal fave.

11) ALL I HAVE - It's all about struggling with a partner who will stick by you no matter what. Good track, and I like the piano playing at the end.

12) IN ANOTHER LIFE - Regardless of what some other fans think, I think that this should definitely be released as the next single, especially for people who think that the Veronicas songs are just throwaway pop. It drives home the sad truth that childhood relationships aren't always built to last forever and there comes a time in your life when you have to give up and let go of them. It's a very organic, honest and heartfelt track that you just feel like wanting to give them a big hug.

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