Descendents

I Don't Want to Grow Up

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What's to be expected given the title track, with a hilarious 'nyah nyah!' line on top of the chorus! Give a closer ear to the song, though -- where the reason not to grow up is that it might "mean being like you" -- and the band's core message of having fun and dealing with things as best one can in a stupid society is still there. When the four want to be straight up and perfectly poppy, they can and do with smashing success, with surprisingly mature, emotional lyrics and playing that doesn't rely on all-speed all the time. "Can't Go Back" is a great lost power-pop classic, with some of Aukerman's best singing, a wonderful chorus and a tuneful reflection on not reliving past mistakes. "Christmas Vacation" is another winner, a heartfelt and sharp depiction of a relationship on the skids with some great, melancholy harmonies, while "My World" draws on Aukerman's college years with a tale of personal frustration in an unfamiliar locale, all while rocking hard and strong. For all this there's ridiculous humor everywhere -- thus "Pervert," which is at once frank and funny, saying "I'd hate to think that romance is just a pose/But all I want to do is rip off your clothes." "Rockstar," which immediately follows, is a hyperspeed trashing that's the understandable sequel to "Loser," demolishing the title character with a series of brief putdowns before concluding with a drawled "Let's exploit rock and roll to its fullest potential." But of course.

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