Bona fide hitmakers by the time of this third album, 3oh!3 don’t mess with their winning formula on Streets of Gold, so let the snotty electro and frat-hop spew out of the speakers like last night’s raging kegger. That is, to a point. The down and out breakup number “R.I.P.” comes with a sensitive heart somewhere between Owl City and Erasure, while “I’m Not the One” is a retro-electro power ballad along the lines of Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away.” Add the relatively positive youth anthem “We Are Young,” and that’s three smart surprises that can’t be denied, but the rest of the album’s success depends on whether you find hook-filled, new wave-inspired, campy, trampy dance-pop catchy or cloying.
While 3OH!3’s leering, nasal party rap felt merely ugly on their 2008 breakout Want — like Gilbert Gottfried if he discovered ? misogyny and Smirnoff Ice — the Colorado duo’s latest finds them in a slightly kinder place. Streets of Gold‘s beats still sound garage-sale-Casio cheap, but the album yields several doofy, affable sing-alongs and even — yeeps! — an Owl City-esque ballad (”I’m Not the One”). C+ Download These:Ke$ha-assisted My First Kiss at amazon.comJaunty I Know How to Say at amazon.com See all of this week’s reviews .
ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO“Street Songs of Love”(Fantasy) Alejandro Escovedo’s “Street Songs of Love” lives up to the direct monosyllables of its title, then transcends them. It’s a set of 12 midtempo, clear-cut, guitar-driven songs and a closing instrumental, usually with just three or four chords, in the style that was once mainstream and is now called classic rock. All the lyrics have something to do with love, as Mr.
Colorado duo’s third album is dumb for sure, but no fun whatsoever. Fraser McAlpine 2010 It must be awful being (careful typing) 3OH!3. Imagine spending your youth besotted with pop music, and wanting to be in a band. You spend ages learning your craft, mucking about with synths and drum machines, and then – joy of joys – you discover you’ve been given the gift of catchy choruses, and the drive to succeed.