Most of you are either confused or groaning right now. If you’re not familiar with this late coming boy band, they gained popularity on the reality show Making the Band before Diddy took it over. It showed the process of picking out five guys to be a part of the newest sensation. They found some success with a couple of their singles, but mostly their career was short lived. And yes, I was in love with these guys. I played this album everyday and never got tired of it. When I listened to it recently I couldn’t understand why I liked this record so much. It’s cheesy and not even in a good way. These really aren’t songs that you want to listen to for fun because you’re too busy wondering how someone could come up with something so awful.
The album opens with one of their more popular songs “Liquid Dreams.” It’s definitely not the best boy band song around, but it’s kind fun in a gross kind of way. If you couldn’t guess, the song is about wet dreams. Now, think about how many 10-12 year old girls were singing this until their parents had to explain how the song was dirty. It’s actually pretty inappropriate to release for a first single. The song also hasn’t aged well due to all the pop culture references to “Halle B,” “a body like Jennifer’s,” and “Cindy C’s beauty mark.” While it’s not all that bad, it’s not one of those songs you can listen to over and over again, but believe it or not it’s not the worse track found here.
They keep up the dirty act with “Every Six Seconds.” The music here isn’t that bad and even has a slight rock edge, but with them screaming “until you gimme some” has to make you wonder who they thought their target audience would be. This is also when you begin to realize a lot of their songs don’t make sense. During the bridge they sing “Victoria’s Secret I’ve been keeping/and it’s getting harder all the time.” I really don’t get what “secret” he’s keeping if he’s just trying to get in her pants. Does he not want anyone to know he’s seen her naked? Maybe I’m missing something. Either way it’s a decent enough song, but it’s still pretty cheesy.
I don’t know who they had writing their songs, but they obviously weren’t that talented as seen on “Girl.” That’s pretty much all they say in the song and it has to be the dumbest way to describe someone you’re interested in. There’s even a line when one of them sings “I need you cause you’re such a/girl.” What does that even mean? This song is almost too painful to listen to. But during the second verse you can really how talented Jacob Underwood is. What’s funny is you can even hear a bit of Michael Jackson in his voice, who he was influenced by. Otherwise, the song is okay if you ignore how many times they say “girl.”
Just about all the songs are decent enough to listen to if you’re in the right mood, but there are a couple songs that are atrocious. “Shy Girl” is beyond cheesy. It’s the typical 90’s teeny bop crap that makes you want to jam a pencil in your ear. It sounds like something from Nsync‘s first album, which was awful. Aside from the music, it’s just the typical song about a guy who creepily stalks a girl whose too shy to even look at him. But things get even worse on “The Painter.” I think the opening line says it all: “If I were a painter/Mixing my colors/How could I ever find the blue of your eyes/The canvas could never/Capture the light of your smile, of your smile.” This has got to be the worst and corniest metaphor for a girl ever. It sounds like a poem an eighth grader wrote. Even when I was young, I didn’t listen to these songs much and I was all for this album. That’s how crappy these songs are.
The best song on both the album and of their career is “All or Nothing.” It begins with a heartbreaking piano riff before Dan Miller starts singing. It’s here that you recognize the vocal talents of both Dan and Jacob. They were the best singers in the band with Dan hitting all the right notes, while the other had that rough edge to his voice. Even though Jacob is great, Dan really makes this song, especially during the chorus. It’s a shame that the band didn’t do better, so they could be more successful in their careers. Otherwise, it’s a catchy song that you can still find people singing today. Maybe if they had better songs like this one, they would’ve been more successful as a band.
Overall, the album gets 5/10. Boy band albums usually aren’t that amazing in the first place, but there may be one or two great songs, while the others are just plain fun no matter how corny they are. That’s not the case with this record. Most of the songs are okay, but for some reason they’re not the type of songs that put a smile on your face. Rather, they make you cringe wondering how someone could come up with such cheesy lyrics. O-town eventually did release a second album, but after several delays and the disappearance of boy bands, it was a failure. Since boy bands are on the rise again, maybe it’s time for them to make a comeback.