We'll Dodge It on the Way Back

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A pop band from Orange County seems like a pretty easy target on which to pin labels. One usually thinks of the bumper crop of punk-pop or ska acts which have emerged from that lush California county, and to group Fairview in the same category would only be somewhat correct. There are genuine punk-pop attitudes here, more on the sugary, bubblegum side of things, but the deeper root of the band lays with the emo-pop scene. Appropriately, the camp in which Fairview most easily would belong is amongst the Vagrant Records artists. It is no surprise, then, that a number of the songs sound like something from the Anniversary's Designing a Nervous Breakdown. Beyond that, there are a good number of analogies to other alterna-pop acts such as the Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World, and No Doubt. While the album consists of 15 songs, only seven of the songs are studio-recorded -- the rest are acoustic live songs and demos. The acoustic tunes, while different and endearing, are also too much like Matchbox Twenty from time to time. Numbers such as "Telegrams" are cute and pleasant to listen to, and while the other songs can be touching, their similarity to acoustic radio pop can wear a little thin. Nonetheless, the album is overall quite solid and a good debut considering the tendency for so many of the acts coming from the musical Mecca of Orange County to be lost in the mix.

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