By Laura Wilson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Some musicians find success in eclecticism. Beck has been lauded for running the gamut of musical genres on every album and Björk continues to sell millions of albums highlighting her vocal agility. Unfortunately, dabbling in a handful of styles does nothing to help World Leader Pretend be anything better than sub-par.
Vocalist Keith Ferguson’s singing straddles the line between a bad Bono impression and sounding like that guy from Better Than Ezra (yeah... I don’t know his name either). The music itself jumps from being too complicated with unnecessary symphonic interludes to too simple with a spotlight on sleigh bells. Maybe it’s just me, but my interest in hearing sleigh bells lasts for about two days every December.
World Leader Pretend
1 out of 10
- Label: Warner Brothers
No one told the guys of World Lead Pretend that songs featuring sleigh bells are banished to a life of providing background music for heartfelt family movies starring some old man dressed as Santa Claus. In fact, the sleigh bells seem to be the central focus of the majority of the tracks on Punches, creating a medley of indiscernibly bad songs.
The album’s title track is a great example of the beautiful music five-year-olds can create during holiday concerts; it’s just too bad that the members of World Leader Pretend aren’t in kindergarten anymore.
Punches isn’t without one semi-sparkling gem of a track, even if it isn’t enough to redeem the entire album. The rock-esque “B.A.D.A.B.O.O.M.” opens with a voiceover reminiscent of Blur’s Damon Albarn on “Parklife” and turns into something that sounds more like Pavement than the bell-happy band that created the rest of this garbage-ridden album.
The glimmer of talent found in “B.A.D.A.B.O.O.M.” quickly fades from memory as World Leader Pretend reclaims its predictable pop formula. One good song does not a good album make, but 13 bad songs amount to something no one should have to hear.