Cute Is What We Aim For – Rotation


Album

Rotation

Label

Fueled By Ramen/Warner

Year

2008

Genre

For Fans Of

All Time Low – The Starting Line – Bubblegum

Summary

Some more of the same…

Rating

53 / 100

Firstly, when your band is called Cute
Is What We Aim For, there’s no real room for imagination. I know you
shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but at least if they were
called Puppy Slaughterhouse, or something along those lines,
I would have been hit somewhat with an element of surprise when I put
the CD on. But alas, cute really is what they’re aiming for. 

Opener Practice Makes Perfect
is a by-the-numbers emo/rock diddy, which to be honest, really offers
nothing that The Starting Line didn’t already offer a good five years
ago. Everyone knows that girls always go for the bad-boy image, and
Cute Is What We Aim For give it their best shot. ‘I’ve become
what a mother wouldn’t want in a son / I have done a few things I
regret / But practice makes perfect.’
I don’t get how you can
be the son a mother never wanted, and produce such listener friendly
music. My mum would be proud if I wrote shit this safe. 

Doctor is next to come, and
again, there’s nothing here that really stands out from the over saturated
emo/rock market, and ultimately, that is where Rotation suffers. Each track sounds as if it were crafted to be a single, and
with an average track time of nearly three and a half minutes, the lack
of dynamic becomes frustrating. 

It’s not until sixth track, Hollywood,
that the band throw slight caution to the wind, by experimenting with
different instrumentation. The use of horns in the chorus, whilst not
creating anything new, does give the track a trademark that separates
it from the rest. The bridge even features some flamenco-styled guitar
work, and for this sense of adventure alone, Hollywood would
have to be my favourite track. 

From there, the album falls back into
it’s bland and stagnant state again, and ends with the ballad Time,
followed by secret track Untitled, comprising of 40 seconds of robotic sounding a-cappella vocals. 

Produced by John Feldmann, the overall
sound of the disk is smooth and polished, and I suppose in a technical
sense, faultless. But in my opinion, when music like this is as safe
as it is, faultless production becomes the fault. There is no character,
and it almost sounds as though you are listening to songs created by
a pop/rock machine. The Early November’s The Room’s Too Cold
is a prime example of where the emo/rock market can have character,
by showcasing emotional music as it should be. Full of emotion.

Conclusion

Rotation
is 40 minutes of unchallenging and uninspiring emo/rock that has been
done 10 times better by 100 bands before. Just remember, if you buy
this CD, you’re probably paying for Ashlee Simpson’s next nose job.

Tracklisting

1. Practice Makes Perfect

2. Doctor

3. Navigate Me

4. Loser

5. Do What You Do

6. Hollywood

7. Safe Ride

8. The Lock Down Denial

9. Marriage To Millions

10. Miss Sobriety

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