SAVE ROCK AND ROLL – ISLAND DEF JAM
Usually when bands get back together in overzealous, cheesy ways it’s after 10 years, 20 years, even. But after four years? That’s not a breakup or a hiatus – that’s taking time off between albums. People do that all the time. Most people, however, don’t dramatize it in a heap of clichéd, tabloid garbage. Which is, coincidentally, exactly what Save Rock and Roll is – an over-stuffed, over-compressed lump of profoundly generic, facetiously self-flagellating pop ballads with gaudy production, Patrick Stump’s codeine-slurred “guffaw” and a half-assed smattering of nonsensical musical guests.
Elton John gives what might be the most phoned-in, saccharine and lifeless performance of his life on the predictably titled track, “Save Rock and Roll,” which gleams bright like a garish, neon billboard of bad choices. The Courtney Love-guested “Rat a Tat” is like an embarrassing fight-to-the death over who can be more irrelevant.
These guys are trying capitalize on nostalgia, despite not being out of the game long enough or ever being a good enough band to warrant it. It offers the same instant gratification without any substance that this generation seems to keep striving for, shooting aspartame and Auto-Tune straight to the veins and worrying about the consequences later. Even the exploitative album cover incriminates itself. Save Rock and Roll is better avoided.
By Nick LaugherAB, Alberta