Orange Park

Songs from the Unknown

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Summer drives, long walks, and packing up for the beach is what you have to envision when you hear these sugary pop/rock, radio-friendly songs such as "Make Up Your Mind," which falls between Collective Soul, Goo Goo Dolls, and Lifehouse in your CD rack. The tandem of Jeff Moore and Justin Moore share lead vocals over songs that take very little time for listeners to lap up. It's a song you can cruise to, although it slows down for some fleeting seconds in the bridge, which is a strike against it. They could take it into a higher gear instead of bringing it back up to its earlier tempo. Groups like Weezer and Sloan would also enjoy the time-honored 4/4 tempo pop of "Save Me" with its hint of alternative or indie rock. It's safe pop/rock but still powerful when executed this well. The softer power ballad "Once in My Life" falls flat right off the bat and can't recover with the chorus. The placement on the album is puzzling, as it could work better later in the record or as a possible closer. However, they nail the power pop à la blink-182 during "Sorry," which builds and builds with the chorus definitely paying off while "One Day" and the stellar Replacements-esque "Wouldn't Change a Thing" both recall Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle" with slightly tamer hooks. Other songs are an acquired taste like the mid-tempo Southern-tinted "Miles Away" despite the far-reaching harmonies. The second attempt at a ballad is a vast improvement as "Unknown" could have been looted from Soul Asylum's vaults. Another asset is how consistent the record is, with latter songs such as "Lately" having a roots rock groove but just as much ear candy as earlier treats. In fact some may suggest it only gets better as it goes on, with the punchy "You and Everyone Else" the icing on this engaging four-tiered power pop cake.

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