Reel Big Fish - Cheer Up!
"You know, when I first heard this song I thought, eck! But now you know, I really hate it."
Aaron Barret once thought that Cheer Up!, the third (official) album from the Californian ska rockers Reel Big Fish, would be the last record they would ever make. He mentioned that his singing was very stiff (because he just learned how to sing) and that he believed that fans would hate the more pop punk sound. Well, these things occur when a band begins to mature into one of the best ska/punk bands around. Though some of the songs are a tad departure from the band's previous works, Cheer Up! is definitely a Reel Big Fish album, and not only that, it's one of their better ones. The boys don't stray too far from their usual tricks; hating... everything (like some girl named "Valerie" and their ability to not score chicks in "Dateless Losers"), doing covers (the impressive rendition of "New York, New York" and the sweetly addictive "Boss DJ" written by the late Brad Nowell), and just screwing around (the Spanish instrumental "Sayonara Senorita" and the epic 80's anthem "Rock 'N' Roll Is Bitchin'"). But unlike their previous works, the band's more bent up on love then the music industry. And not only that, they hit the point where they were resembling the stereotypical 90's ska band which is basically Green Day with horns. But where others failed when caught in that cliche, the band makes it work. Barret has mentioned that he's embarrassed singing the incredibly catchy "Ban the Tube Top", that the fun "Suckers" goes nowhere, and that he hated the hornless "Where Have You Been" until they threw some reggae and horns into the mix. Though the more poppier stuff can get old and "What Are Friends For" is just a bad song, it doesn't stop the record from entertaining. Some would say RBF were kissing the proverbial buttocks of Jive with this record, but the band were maturing and exploring new ideas. Sure, Aaron Barret hates it, but what does he know...
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