The Ready Set

Feel Good Now

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The Ready Set's 2010 album I'm Alive, I'm Dreaming was a super-bouncy, almost hyper record that blended turn of the century teen pop with laptop emo, and tossed in a bit of R&B and hip-hop for good measure. The Feel Good Now EP is more of the same but even more assured-sounding, extremely well-crafted pop. The “band” is still mainly the work of Jordan Witzigreuter, but here he’s helped by producer Ian Kirkpatrick and a few outside songwriters (including Kara DioGuardi). They help him craft an almost painfully effervescent and fun-sounding record, full of buoyant vocal harmonies, bubbly synths, and finger-snapping beats. At times it’s a little bit like what might have happened if the New Radicals had been more influenced by the Black Eyed Peas than by Prince. To that end, there are plenty of concessions to the overriding pop template of 2011, in other words, lots of Auto-Tune, fat techno synths, and booty-shaking beats. These familiar sounds never distract from the pure pop thrill the album delivers, nor do the occasionally silly lyrics (“So tell me operator/How do I operate her”). Instead of sounding awkward, they fit right into the frothy, happily mindless mix. The only downside of the record, and the band itself, is that they are hard to slot into any one style -- too pop for emo, too emo for pop -- and this may affect their sales. Regardless of that, if you are a fan of ridiculous pop music that will never tax your brain but may make you smile, this totally works.

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