The members of the San Diego quartet Allstar Weekend met when they were in high school, and after a few years of gigging and making their debut EP, they still sound like they are in high school. The sunny, breezy emo pop sound of Suddenly is geared for teenagers who want something a little more punk that the Jonas Brothers but not punk enough to muss up anyone’s carefully styled hair. The group writes very catchy songs with very teenage concerns: songs about identity, crushes, painful breakups, how awesome weekends are, and how rad it would be to suddenly become a rock star. Zachary Porter delivers the words in a sweet and innocent style, the band provides some energy, and the production team (which features big names like Howard Benson and S*A*M & Sluggo) covers the basic rock setup of guitar, bass, and drums with all kinds of keyboards, effects, and modern production tricks. It’s a very slick presentation that’s perfect for radio, destined for mall stores and -- unfortunately for the band -- utterly generic and forgettable. It’s all style with no substance, all trimmings with no main course. A little bit of dirt in the production, a little less bombast in the stadium-friendly choruses, or some semblance of a unique perspective would have gone a long way in making this something more than just another in a long line of records that sound exactly like this. It’s too bad, because the band has some talent beneath all the layers of paint. Perhaps if they had been given a chance to develop their own sound before they were swallowed by the machine, this record would be worth hearing. As it stands, though, if you are in the mood for some emo pop you can do much better elsewhere.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra