When recording tracks for the next installment of their Weekend EP series, the guys in Forever the Sickest Kids were so happy with the songs they were laying down that they decided to chuck the concept and just go ahead and record a full album instead. When you listen to the resulting self-titled record, you can hear why they felt that way, as the songs are the most fully realized of their short career. The pop songs are unapologetically catchy and simple, the ballads are heart-on-the-sleeve emotional, and the sound of the record is shiny, slick (in a good way), and arena-ready. Jonathan Cook's vocals sound more assured and punchy (and less Auto-Tuned this time out); his impassioned yelping on the rockers and his twee crooning on the ballads are one of the album’s highlights. Unfortunately, the lyrics he’s given himself to sing are generic at best, embarrassing at worst. Granted, you don’t come to emo pop for inspired poetry, but a level of wit or originality is a must if you want to stand out from the pack. Forever the Sickest Kids (and their producers) don’t do themselves any favors, either, by exhibiting the same lack of creativity; the arrangements, guitar sounds, and sonic tricks are all Emo Pop 101. Even the tracks where they try something a little interesting, like the club-friendly "Life of the Party," end up sounding clichéd and clumsy. The band should probably have just stuck to cranking out straightforward emo pop/rockers and let Cook's voice do the heavy lifting. As it stands here, maybe sticking to the EP concept would have been a better idea. Or better yet, taking a step away from aping trends and working on creating a unique sound. Until they do that, they’ll be mere pretenders with nothing but their enthusiasm and the occasional memorable tune to set them apart from the crowd of bands doing the same basic emo pop thing.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra