Motion in the Ocean

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Album number three from the young lads known as McFly was titled Motion in the Ocean, and late in 2006 it was difficult to tell whether or not the lads still had it. It was true that the big hit singles were still being churned out with frightening regularity, if not number ones then all pretty close, "Star Girl" and "Baby's Coming Back" (which wasn't included on the album along with "Transylvania," which was) both chart-toppers, but McFly singles were beginning to develop a pattern of entering high on the chart, only to plummet the following week, giving the impression each time that their fan base, although still quite strong, was all they had and nobody outside of this group would ever consider buying any McFly product, however good it may be. Having experimented on the previous album, Wonderland, with some orchestral sounds and relatively classy tracks, McFly reverted on Motion in the Ocean to what their fans were expecting, a mixture of fun pop tracks with catchy hooks and soft piano-led ballads. Examples of the former are "We Are the Young," which sounded like the sort of song the Beatles would have recorded in 1963, and "Please, Please," which was quite a rockin' number and had already been released as one track on a single. The ballads included "Bubblewrap" and "Walk in the Sun," and "Home Is Where the Heart Is" was a Jon Bon Jovi type of stadium rock attempt at an anthem that didn't really work. "Little Joanna" had Queen-style harmonies, and speaking of Queen, the single that kicked off the project, although only added to the album in a later edition, was their version of "Don't Stop Me Now," which was almost a carbon copy of the original and broke off just as a Brian May-soundalike guitar solo was about to start. The lads, however, after the orchestral and introverted thoughtful music on Wonderland, were back to having fun with their pop, opening the track "Transylvania" with the famous excerpt from Bach's Toccata and Fugue and putting the silliest of singalong choruses in the track "Lonely." After two number one albums, the album sales were disappointing, leaving many observers to note that McFly's days were numbered unless there was a drastic rethink.

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