A Present for Everyone

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Present for Everyone is the quickie follow-up to Busted's self-titled hit debut, and it's immediately obvious that the trio's flair for a mischievous lyric hasn't lessened. Featureless pop-punk opener "Air Hostess" finds the blokes fancying a snog with the titular airline employee. But what's this? Amid lines like "I messed my pants when we flew over France" are smarmy acknowledgements of Busted's newfound fame -- the boys can't close the deal for fear of the ever-present paparazzi. Aw. "Crashed the Wedding" adds whizzing synths to the existing formula of crackling, energetic, electric guitars, and irrepressible harmony choruses; "Who's David" is a cheatin' heart tale to the tune of Simple Plan, Good Charlotte, or any of America's glossy pop punks that have stepped into the niche blink-182 made. Though its supposed grit is equally as processed, Present for Everyone at least sheds the boy band vestiges that tripped up Busted's debut. Though it's way too long at 15 tracks, the album at least sticks to its template of earnest, slightly bawdy tales of boys and girls wrapped around peppy, ultra-slick, and sickeningly in-the-moment guitar pop. Fans of the group's first effort should fully enjoy this Present; just don't expect it to be the gift that keeps on giving.

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