Let’s talk about Candy Hearts. I did a review of their previous full length last year. I ended the review saying “It is an average record from a band that shows potential to be great.” So, where do we stand now?
Everything’s Amazing & Nobody’s Happy is really a pretty fair extension of that record. They are a pop band that plays pop music. Clear punk influence, without being overly concerned about being “punk.” It has some cooler guitar leads, maybe. The production sounds cleaner. Not overly polished, but definitely shinier. As far as the few beefs I had with the previous record, this one puts those to bed.
Overall, this is the record this band needed to make. It is playing on the strengths of the previous full length, but not abandoning the reckless fun that goes along with the genre. The vocals are still a little rough sounding, (well, rough compared to the pitch corrected hell that is pop music), the hooks are catchy as fuck, and the energy is there in spades. If the previous record made me want to listen to other things, this record is the opposite. It is a record that keeps your attention.
There is no shortage of awkwardness and self-deprecation going on here. On the song “She’s So Cool” we get the following:
“She’s everything I want to be
She’s everything someone would need
She’s everything they want
I’m not that girl
And I don’t think I’ll ever be that cool”
It is one of those songs that anyone can get stoked on. You figure everyone compares themselves to someone, and rarely do they quite live up to the expectations. This particular song does not quite fall in the same glad-handing traps that seems to be all the rage.
Although, yeah, we also have kind of the more optimistic side on “Good Enough”:
“Always sort of out of key
Addicted to caffeine and bad poetry
And not saying the things that I mean
You’re always sort of mad at me
Because I’m late for everything
And my socks don’t match and my hair is messy
Well, I know what you’re saying before you do
That I’m not good enough for you
I’m good enough for me and all the things that I want to be
It’s still alright to be down sometimes
Cause nobody is perfect and I know that you’re not worth it
It’s still alright to be down sometimes”
Basically, we get some pretty great songs about shit everyone can understand. Any record that can be universally understood without being pandering is always a good things. Songs about friends, relationships, and social awkwardness. Maybe a little twee, but who cares? Plus, any record with a song that features a chorus about listen to Jawbreaker is always good.
There is only one thing that bugs me. It is a minor quibble. But there are two songs in a row that are very Alkaline Trio-ish. The riffs in “When I’m With You” and “Something Special” are a little too “Fine Without You” and “Bleeder,” respectively. Not direct lifts, but pretty fucking close. But, that is kind of a minor point.
All in all, a great record. It is one of those records that sounds good on a sunny, summer day. Too bad it is already October. Luckily, Chicago is in the middle of Indian summer. Might as well give it a go.
One of the better records I heard this year. Sugary pop/punk at its best. Go pick this up.