Saturday, September 09, 2006

Set the scene, I think I'm in love now

Part two of the McFly special today, starting with the two songs from their last (double A-side) single from Wonderland, one song from American album Just My Luck, and the two songs from their most recent single. I know there's a good chance most people know these songs already, but it's part of my goal to introduce great songs to people who've just discovered the world or part of the world of pop (I only "discovered" pop not released in the U.S. nine months ago, so I know what it's like to have to catch up on things); even if only one or a couple of people haven't heard these songs, I'm doing what I'd like to do. Also, I've been dying to get a chance to write about McFly's most recent single, so let me indulge myself :)

Ultraviolet--a bit of a trippy opening, even including a reference to Wonderland, that makes it sound as if the song is appearing out of a shimmering mirage; similar sound effects occur again at the end as the song fades away, leaving you wondering if, like an ended summer romance, the entire thing actually just happened. Not as strong (in terms of sound, not quality) as "I Wanna Hold You." Songs like this (the entire Wonderland album, really) are just works of art--there are so many good things going on, I don't even know where to begin.

The Ballad Of Paul K--this is probably the saddest McFly single (just listen to the lyrics, telling the story of a man getting older and feeling lost in life), but there's also something strangely uplifting about the beginning of the chorus. Even lines like "Don't know why but somehow/The ones you love you hate now" have a hint of something beyond melancholiness in them (perhaps because of the fast, high delivery of the line) that make the song far more than just a ballad about and featuring misery.

Just My Luck
--I was horribly worried when McFly began their attempt to launch themselves in the U.S. They redid "Five Colours In Her Hair," making it harder and possibly stealing angst-rock and emo influences, a direction which I wasn't really fond of. As a result, hearing this song--the only all new song on their U.S. album Just My Luck, which is mainly a compilation of their first two UK albums--was a huge relief. It's a bit more like their first album, poppy and guitar-strummy and happy (as well as sweet), though not quite as beachy. It's got handclaps and a pre-guitar solo middle 8 that'll make you want to bounce back and forth with a big smile on your face.

Don't Stop Me Now--one side of McFly's most recent single and a cover of the Queen song. I'm generally not a big fan of covers and tend to think they work best when you don't know the original version. Queen's original version, though, is famous--even I know it well--but I adore this cover; in fact, I'll even go so far as to say I like it more than the Queen version (heresy? yes! loss of credibility? yes! but it's the honest truth). I love when they get beyond the introduction and the song builds and gathers energy--by the time they reach the chorus, you're completely sucked into this giant ball of sort-of-laid-back-energy and happiness and fun. I also adore Danny's delivery on this song--pretty much all of it, but especially "like an atom bomb, about to woah-oh-oh-oh-oh-explode!" ("collision course" and his first solo lines in the song get honorable mentions). But then I feel bad about leaving Tom out (for some reason, I see him as being really central to the band, but maybe not appreciated as much as he should be--I know, that last part makes no sense)--all four of them are brilliant, OK?

Please, Please--I honestly don't think I could have asked for a better comeback for McFly than this song--"Please, Please" is, for me, perfection (all right, so the first few seconds are a bit harsh, but beyond that, perfect). They've taken the fun of their first album and the maturity and sophistication (not lyrically, because it's still cheeky, but musically) of their second album and combined them together into one song. When I first heard it on the radio, I was honestly awestruck; I had to keep listening to it over and over again in sheer amazement, to prove to myself that I had really just had every wish I'd had about McFly's next album fulfilled. That probably makes the song sound more serious than it is, but a good portion of its perfection comes from how it just radiates fun. Everything in this song, from the stuttering in the chorus ("C-c-c-come with me now!/M-m-m-must be a dreamer!"), the amazing catchiness of the chorus itself, the piano, the short breakdown in the middle 8, the background "whooooooooahh!"--everything--is pop genius of the best sort, harnessed towards making the most knock-you-off-your-feet fun song possible. I could not stop smiling the first time I heard it and, though months have passed, it has exactly the same effect on me today. If the entire album is this good, I think the world might just stop spinning on its axis.

(I know not everyone will agree with me on "Please, Please," so really, that's a completely subjective review--I don't expect it to be perfect for everyone, but for me, it truly is excitement-inspiring perfection of a sort I haven't heard in who knows how long.)

To buy McFly's second album, Wonderland, go here (physical) or here (digital); to buy their American album, Just My Luck, go here (physical) or here (digital); to buy the lead single, "Don't Stop Me Now/Please, Please," for their third real album, go here (physical) or here (digital).

Next up: thanks to humanclay, I now know that McFly have a new single hitting radios soon--with luck, on Monday we'll be able to hear McFly's latest single, "Star Girl," for ourselves. Tomorrow might have to be another McFly-dedicated day, then (in all likelihood, though, it won't be, though they might crop up again on Monday, depending on whether or not I've managed to hear "Star Girl"), or it could finally be Gregory Lemarchal's turn to be featured.


Paul said...

sigh - another great post :) I love Ballad Of Paul K, the video was so great too... i am in the mood for mcfly this week ;)

Anonymous said...

i love love this post!!! thanks so much for all the mcfly =D can't wait to hear that "star girl" song

J'ason D'luv said...

Girlfriend, you are all kinds of McFly crazy! I'm adding you to my blog roll on the sidebar... why have I not done this before? I suppose because I'm a tad off...

Poster Girl said...

Paul, with your recommendation of the video, I had to go watch it--it was definitely not what I expected! Oh, it's so sad... :( I almost wish I didn't see it, but it makes the song deeper that way and I love how brave McFly can be with some of their work, like that video, so I am glad I finally got around to watching it. Is it a rule, though, that McFly have to do "regular" videos for their first three singles off an album and then are allowed more creative leeway for the fourth?

Thanks! I can't wait to hear "Star Girl" either, though I'm sort of nervous about it, too...

I think I might adore McFly's music a little more than is healthy :) Maybe it's a good thing they didn't make it in the United States because I might just have become too excited to function. Thanks so much for the add!