For Fans Of
William Beckett’s debut full length is underwhelming. That’s the long and the short of it. The singer/song-writer has endless amounts of experience, not least of which is his long time dedication to alt rock giants, The Academy Is… However, ‘Genuine and Counterfeit’ doesn’t really cut it when, given Beckett’s capabilities, expectations were so high.
Beckett’s vocals are edgy, cutting and interesting on the album’s opener ‘Pick Up The Phone’. But, once the song drops and the chorus comes in, it quickly becomes apparent that ‘Genuine and Counterfeit’ isn’t likely to be anything more than a collection of cheesy pop rock tunes.
‘In My Blood’ doesn’t really fare much better and despite Beckett’s juicy, appealing croons, there’s not a lot going for Hanging On A Honeymoon, which, to phrase it bluntly, is cringe-worthy. In ‘Benny and Joon’ obscure movie references and 80’s-esque synths add some interest, but it still feels like Beckett is resting on his laurels, and it’s certainly not enough for the non-radio listener to keep the tune spinning.
‘Turn On The Light’, begins with a riff that sounds uncannily like the beginning of All Time Low’s ‘Weightless.’ Other than the occasional flavour of guitar, there’s not much to be said about the ‘rock’ aspect of ‘Genuine and Counterfeit’, which is more like an album of uplifting anthemic pop tunes (as in tracks, By Your Side and One In The Same) than anything else.
Perhaps it’s the mainstream audience that Beckett seeks, because the slow paced, structured and chorus driven ‘Caught In the Middle’ and ‘Time For A Sign’, featuring Mayday Parade’s Derek Sanders, suggests that this may just be where he succeeds.
Beckett has so much potential to stretch the capabilities of his voice and of his song writing, and although we see little snippets of his potential in ‘Genuine and Counterfeit’, it’s not enough to make the impact it should. There’s not a lot to attract, if anything really, the alternative listener who seeks something apart from the predictability of radio tunes. Having said this, if Beckett is making a move into the mainstream he certainly went about it the right way.
1. Pick Up The Phone
2. In My Blood
3. Benny & Joon
4. Hanging On a Honeymoon
5. Turn On the Ligh
6. By Your Side
7. Caught in the Middle
8. One in the Same
9. Cracks in the Ceiling
10. Time for a Sign (feat. Derek Sanders)
11. A Million People