Most rock fans don’t expect much musically from a band that opens for the Backstreet Boys, Ashlee Simpson, and Jesse McCartney. Seeing the five fresh-faced, smirking young lads on the cover of the Click Five’s debut album, Greetings from Imrie House — clad in matching suits and floppy hair cuts a la Noel Gallagher and Rivers Cuomo — certainly causes a rock fan’s expectations to plummet further. Upon hearing that the members of the Boston-based Click Five attended the prestigious Berklee School of Music, there might be a glimmer of hope in the rock fan’s soul as to the innate talent and goodness of Click Five.
But after listening to the unbelievably derivative and banal opening chords of “Good Day,” the possibility of that educated goodness dashes on the rocks of so many cheesy lyrics. The Click Five isn’t even enjoyable in that Ashlee Simpson/Kelly Clarkson guilty rock pleasure kind of way. The synth work on Greetings sounds like a bad version of something Jem and the Holograms would have done in 1986 — and they’re cartoons.
The only palatable song on Greetings is “Just the Girl,” and that’s because Click Five didn’t write it. “Just the Girl” was written by Adam Schlesinger, the Fountains of Wayne member who penned “Stacy’s Mom.” The song has the same catchy pop hooks as Fountains’ ode to MILF-dom, but with none of the cheekiness. Click Five lead singer Eric Dill sings lines like “She laughs at my dreams / but I dream about her laughter,” without even an ounce of irony.
The ballads on Greetings are even less palatable than the up tempo numbers. “Say Goodnight,” sounds like the refuse from a Savage Garden album — and Savage Garden has to be the biggest bunch of mincing, pantywaist sissies the mid-’90s ever produced. Particularly on “Say Goodnight,” Dill’s voice sounds overly feminine and constipated at the same time. If you’re a teenager looking for a pretty, catchy piece of pop rock, check out Weezer or even the more emo upstarts Motion City Soundtrack. The thought of the Click Five catering to legions of swooning tweens may be inevitable considering their tour partners, but you don’t have to be part of the Click Five problem. You can be part of the solution.