on June 30, 2003
I have been a Rooney fan for quite some time now, and couldn't wait to get my hands on their debut album. I was expecting it to be good, and I was not disappointed. Rooney's signature sound, kind of California rock & roll which hints of the Beatles and Weezer, shines on this album. Here's a track-by-track run down of this outstanding disc:
1. Blueside - The first single, this gives listeners an idea of what to expect on the rest of the album. It's very instrumentally, rather than lyrically, driven. B+
2. Stay Away - Great catchy song, a perfect example of the "California beach" sound of Rooney. This track gives you a better appreciation of Robert's vocals than "Blueside". One of my favorites. A
3. If It Were Up To Me - This has been my favorite Rooney song ever since I first heard them over a year ago. Very Beatle-ish, with sweet lyrics: "It it were up to me, she would know that our love is the best love". A
4. I'm A Terrible Person - Very, very catchy chorus / pop sounding. It's good, but nothing incredibly special or original. B+
5. Popstars - One of the few mellow songs on the disc. This lament about the loads of untalented popstars uses lines from Britney and Nsync songs to say, "These are the words of the popstars/ These are the words of the unsophisticated money machines/ For the killers of rock and roll". This song is very different from anything else on the album, or on the radio. A
6. I'm Shakin' - You'll have "shh shh shaking" stuck in your head for the rest of the day after listening to this track. Fun song. B+
7. Daisy Duke - Interesting song, reminds me a bit of something Weezer might sing. One of my favorites just because it seems so well-crafted and is catchy without being mindless. Great guitar on this song, too. A
8. Sorry Sorry - The most fun song on the album - something I want to play over and over until my CD player breaks. It is the perfect summer song. You can't help but sing along; "I'm sorry sorry for making your life a living hell". Great pop/rock song. A
9. That Girl Has Love - A sad song about a teenage girl who committed suicide. The best lyrics on the CD, in my opinion. Everything about this song is good: the melody, instrumentals, lyrics, and vocals. It's slower and more laid back, fitting for the subject of the song. Perfect. A
10. Simply Because - Another song with a catchy chorus: "I could never really love you simple because, simply because of the trust". A-
11. Losing All Control - At first this song was not one of my favorites, but now I love it. It's very laid back and mellow - the perfect ending to a great CD. A
All in all, this is an excellent album; it has quickly become one of my favorite CDs. I would highly recommend picking it up - you won't be disappointed. And check out the guys in concert if you get a chance - they'll blow you away.
on May 4, 2004
Too many people have written glowing comparisons of Rooney to the Beach Boys. I think it's really more than that. These guys have good harmonies, and sure there's the use of the theremin on "Blueside", but to simply compare these guys to the Beach Boys doesn't give them enough credit. It's clear to see by the bear on the album cover that these guys are deeply rooted in the California sound. This is a great sound, with a fresh, modern neo-punk sound. Others compare Rooney to Weezer mixed with the Beach Boys, but I really hear a lot more of a melodic pop feel that reminds me of Big Star and Teenage Fanclub. Rooney reminds me of the smattering of good pop music that the 1970's managed to cough up. Eric Carmen on a really good day...Sweet when they played something other than "Ballroom Blitz"...do you see where I'm going with this? I bought this album without ever having heard one track...purely on the word of a friend...and I'm glad I did. Robert Carmine reminds me a lot of Jim Ellison, the late lead singer of Material Issue (from Chicago). This is a really fine slice of pop, and I can't wait to hear what these guys do next!
on May 31, 2003
Rooney has been drumming up a fan base for over three years now, and we devoted fans have gotten our just desserts. As have those about to discover this rockin' band.
As many have described them already, yes, they do sound like Weezer. However, Rooney's sound, is noticabley different in each song Robert Carmine smoothley croons.
The first single, "Blueside", is sure to make all who listen instant dancers as everything about this upbeat song is something to jump up and boogie down to. Another stand-out track is the absolute most fun one can have stuck in one's head. Shakin' is indeed just that. From the first moment the song is heard, nobody can control themselves.
Other hits with fans and concert-go-ers is the oh-so-cute "Sorry, Sorry", "I'm A Terrible Person", and suprisingly sad, "That girl has love"(formally "Kirsten"). On this reviewers trip home from seeing them live for the third time, the lyrics literally brought tears to her eyes.
Now, Rooney is fantastic when recorded, however, their live performance is incendiary. Above anything else I have seen. This band knows how to rock and deliver a stellar show, even when things might not be ideal. For those not lucky enough to see them live, this enhanced cd has two performances from a fan show played last winter.
Rooney has proved to be more than just pretty boys with unbelievable connections in their own home(Lead guitarist and vocalist Robert Carmine is Jason Schwartzman's (of Phantom Planet) brother) but soon to be sensations and eventually legends. Taylor Locke and Matt Winter wail on guitar and bass like no other, while Louie Stephens rocks out on keyboard and tambourine. Ned Brower, the drummer, is a risk taker that has all the talent to back it up. "popstars" features his drumming that kills today's competition.
Rooney has produced a unique present to the world. And these friendly, sweet guys deserve every bit of success along the way to ultimate stardom.
This reviewer has never believed more in a band than in Rooney.
on June 14, 2003
I love Rooney. They are my favorite band, their sound reminds me of the old rock and roll of the Beatles, and Beach Boys. This CD has some of their best songs on it, though their ultimate CD will always be their first real EP Deli Meats.
1 - Blueside - Their first single. Listen to the slide guitar (by the extremely talented Taylor Locke) in this one. It was one of their first songs ever, and is always fresh to me.
2 - Stay Away - A wonderfully fun song about a crush with a fresh twist on things, one of my favorite tracks.
3 - If it Were Up to Me - When you listen to this song you will realize why they are often compared to the Beatles. Pure goodness.
4 - I'm a Terrible Person - This was the only song that I didn't know when I got the CD. It rocks, and is another one of my favorite Rooney songs ever.
5 - Popstars - A look at bubblegum pop. I like the sentiment of this song, but it isn't their best. Still enjoyable though.
6 - Shakin' - Pure fun. I love this song, how many songs do you know written about being sick.
7 - Daisy Duke - Beautifully twisted, my third favorite track on the CD. I love how innocent Robert Carmine's voice sounds in this.
8 - Sorry Sorry - Louie Stephens owns this song with his keyboard. A fun song about cell phones, suede shoes, and alter egos.
9 - Kristen - The track list has it wrong, this song will always be Kristen. Beautiful song about a girl who commits suicide.
10 - Simply Because - Should have been a hair faster, but still fun. I love the refrain.
11 - Losing all Control - Mellow song, listen for another soaring Taylor Locke guitar solo.
In short BUY THIS CD. You won't be disapointed.
on December 23, 2003
Warning: gushing, middle-aged know-it-all here opines!!
I'm a fifty-something musician who has performed every musical style from Earnest Tubb to Vivaldi, and I know great music when it slaps me.
It happened in a Target store in Lexington, KY--a Rooney video blasting from a wall of twenty-seven-inch TVs!
"Now that's the most interesting rock music I've heard since Spoon!" I thought to myself, and immediately sought and bought the cd--first time in more than a decade that I'd procured an lp on hearing a mere snatch of a song. And I now am a Rooney apostle!
Youngsters, if you like Weezer (and I certainly do), Rooney trumps them and evey other contemporary band I've heard. And fellow geezers--you who cherish the three-sided Utopia lp and/or enjoyed the more tuneful '70's and early 80's new wave bands like the Shoes and Records, etc.--do yourselves a tremendous favor and get Rooney! For me, maybe the most fun I've had since Talking Heads' "Remain in Light."
Rejoyce, intelligent music lovers of all ages everywhere: Rooney, at last, has delivered us!
on February 2, 2005
If you look at the things I have reviewed so far, you can tell that I am a fanatic of classic rock and 80's music. No, I don't have a BETA player, but my loyalty in music remains with the old stuff. The new stuff just never has really appealed to me. I found most of it to be the same teeny boopin', three-chord, mad at the world bull. I was given this CD from a friend, and was nervous to listen to it at first seeing that it was a new CD. However, I popped it in and immediately found a new band that I enjoy thoroughly.
Rooney is like going back into a time machine and taking pieces of music from the past and putting them in a stew to form a new creation. You go back to the 50's and take Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry, the 60's with the Beatles and the Beach Boys, the 70's with the Steve Miller Band and Sweet, the 80's with Huey Lewis and the Cars, and the 90's with Barenaked Ladies and Weezer and put them together and you form one of the most promising new bands of the 2000's.
Out of the eleven tracks, I can listen to nine of them without a problem. My favorites include "Blue Sides", the single from the O.C. "I'm Shakin'" and "Pop Stars". The music is very upbeat, simple, and happy. You can tell these guys have fun making music and enjoy the life they are living. It's a nice vacation from Ashlee Simpson, Fat Joe, Good Charlotte, and the other three chord, teeny boppin' junk bands and "musicians" around.
Go pick this CD up today. In the song "Pop Stars", the band talks about the fear of rock dying out for good because of the overabundence of trashy pop. Let me say that if bands like "Rooney" stay around, I think the music world has some hope after all.
on February 14, 2005
My first thought after listening to this album was "I've got to tell everyone about this band!" From start to finish, Rooney hits on all cylinders. By far one of the best CD's and new bands of 2003.
1) Blueside- 9/10- Good opener, great guitar. Awesome harmony.
2) Stay Away- 10/10- One of my favorites. About loving a girl and her not knowing you do. Clever lyrics.
3) If it were up to me- 8.5/10- Good harmony among lead and backup singers in this one. Not my favorite but still good.
4) I'm a terrible person- 8/10- Fairly mellow song with a message: Don't snoop through your date's stuff!
5) Popstars- 10/10- Excellent song which pretty much disses the crappy music of the 90's (Nsync and Brittney Spears) Funniest song on the album. You'll find yourself laughing at the lyrics.
6) I'm Shakin'- 9.5/10- Would be 10/10 but got way too overplayed on the radio. Still an awesome song which is VERY catchy.
7) Daisy Duke- 11/10- My favorite song on the album. Great guitar, great lyrics, great everything.
8) Sorry Sorry- 8/10- Never really develops. Good song but nothing special.
9) That girl has love- 8.5/10- Sad song about a girl who commits suicide. Slower than most of their other songs but a nice change.
10) Simply Because- 9/10- Catchy song. "I could never really love you. Simply because, simply because." Really good.
11) Losing all control- 10/10- Perfect closer. Starts off slow, picks up a little bit in the middle, and then ends as it starts. Grows on you after a while.
Overall: 9/10 Buy this, you won't be disappointed.
on May 20, 2003
So, ok I read the review of this album in the latest Rolling Stone and they compared it to a bad Weezer album. I can understand the comparison upon first listen, but being one of the few outside of the state of California to have listened to Rooney for a while now, the similariteies end quickly after a few listens. Robert Carmine, who is actually closely related to Jason Schwartzman of movie fame and Phantom Planet, shows that he can write songs well enough not to harp on the showbiz connection. "Blueside", "If it Were Up to Me" and "Sorry Sorry" highlight mostly upbeat and fresh tracks that get stuck in your head almost instantly and stay there. It's nice to hear something like this as opposed to just another would be garage band (although I am a fan of most and they actually toured with The Strokes for a while) or some Saliva, Creed, Seether, Linkoln Park sounding stale piece of garbage. Anyway, if your into something up beat, well written and performed and your not too depressed from your father not loving you enough when you were little (I'm looking at you bald scary guy from Staind) then you should check out Rooney before they get any bigger, which I'm sure they will. And by the way, being compared to a bad Weezer album isn't that bad when you really think about it.
on November 8, 2004
I am a 17 year old from Australia, and i only found out about Rooney after reading up on Robert Carmine. I quickly fell in love with their music and now my friend and I are hooked! It's the best music! You just want to dance every time you hear it! My favourite songs are (big breath) 1. If it were up to me 2. Daisy Duke 3. Stay Away and 4. That Girl Has Love. I really hope the band comes down under cos they would be huge down here!
on August 2, 2003
Reminiscient of bands from the 60s such as the Beach Boys, Rooney has just begun their musical career with their self-titled debut album. Very similar to the Strokes, another group that delves into their musical roots for inspiration and imitation, Rooney provides a nice break from the nu-metal and hard rock from bands such as Linkin Park and Disturbed. They journey back in time, and bring in the elements of pure rock-and-roll to the modern era. Using this as the crux for their sound, they add on the elements of amps and electric guitars to add an element of heaviness. As they blend the elements of new-age rock and classic rock, they create music that brings together two very different musical generations. Devout fans of the original characteristics of rock-and-roll--pure guitar, pass, drums, and vocals without the use of computers to synthesize and create beats and songs--will find themselves refreshed by the sound of Rooney, yet at the same time will enjoy that purity brought up to date.
The beginning of the song "I'm Shakin'" sounds as if it were pulled out of "96 Tears" by Question Mark And The Mysterians. Not stopping there, tambourines and keyboards in the background along with choruses sung my nearly the entire in some situations reflect a sound of the Beach Boys, namely on "If It Were Up To Me" and "Blueside." Robert Carmine's line "In a good way/She doesn't know/That I love her/Yes I love her" from "Stay Away" is one example of his tremendous songwriting. The sound to each song strikes an unattainable memory. Reaching deep into the musical memory bank, the listener strives to make the connection between Rooney's sound on a specific song to a classic rock-and-roll song only to realize that no song exists in most scenarios. It is simply the unique blend of elements Rooney uses in creating amazing and memorable songs.