Nice – My Planet

My Planet

Even if the album cover does paint the picture of a teeny-bopper boy band, they say you can’t judge a book by its cover, right? Well, what we have here is sort of an adult version of Hansen, with the brothers Anderson (John, Ricky, and Mike) joined by pal John Bell (who is oddly either excluded or put in the background of group photos).
Predictably, these are sugary sweet pop songs. The plus side: the album is harmless enough, with not much of anything capable of causing offense. The minus side: the album is terribly predictable and lacking range. Citing bands from Duran Duran to Supergrass to Weezer to Oasis as major influences, this California band churns out power-pop like an item of mass production. The jangly guitars, with just a faint hint of new-wave spaciness, is what it all revolves around. Gentle strumming and cutesy melodies abound, building the support system for the nauseatingly sweet vocals.
The say-nothing lyrics (“Stay out late, I’m not coming home / Stay out late, leave me alone”), which focus largely on girls and growing up, are perfectly suitable for this sort of style, but if you’re looking for thought-provoking content, you’ll be better off looking elsewhere. The rhythm section plods along, playing well but seemingly restrained by the structure they are a part of. Layered vocal harmonies and keyboards are thrown into the mix in an effort to make things even sweeter. As a result, songs like “When I Say” resemble tracks from the soundtrack to one of those terrible and equally predictable teenage love films.
By the end of the album, you feel like you have heard the same song regurgitated over and over again, and it is really starting to get on your nerves. If this is “the future of pop,” as the band claims to be, we are all in a lot of trouble.