Imagine a piano-playing Simple Plan fronting a more sugary-sweet pop/rock version of Good Charlotte and you're on track to what the Summer Obsession has to offer the music world. For their debut, This Is Where You Belong, the band uses the charm of the TRL faux-pop/punk bands to offer up a sweetly melodic and singalongable album perfect for warm summer days away from the trials of school. Thankfully, the guys don't try and act tougher than their songs are, content to just be annoyingly catchy enough for those who don't ask for much out of their music. But that also means the collective album has absolutely zero edge -- at least Good Charlotte has random punk and quasi-rap outbursts every now and again to mix things up a bit. This is totally safe, bland, and superficial pop/rock sung by cute guys who have the benefit of glossy production in their back pocket. Full of syrupy vocals and somewhat catchy hooks, the Summer Obsession is all about immediate satisfaction, which is probably all the better since (a) who really wants to listen to this album multiple times and (b) people might actually start paying attention to the band's lyrics. OK, maybe there's something to be said for being able to sing along after barely one listen, but when it's lines like "It's always been you and me/Baby, it's cool/You suck at school anyway/So pack it up, let's run away" or "I'm never going back to reality 'cause reality is illusion anyway" -- c'mon now. It's probably just as well that this album was designed with summer in mind, since it plays like most summer flings anyway -- it might be fun for a brief time, but there's almost certainly something new waiting around the corner to take its place in no time.
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AllMusic Review by Corey Apar