Orson - Bright Idea

Natasha Footman 29/05/2006

Rating: 2/5

Get ready; here it comes, the album from the band with the most downloaded track from iTunes like, ever. Yes, it is Orson, the Hollywood quintet force behind the massive commercial hit 'No Tomorrow' and they are out to dominate the charts. And this album will no doubt do that with its formulated and oh so simple pop-rock music that has been engineered to perfection. A perfection that is perfect for the mainstream music industry, which basically means, be warned; this is going to bore your socks off.

'Here's my bright idea' sings front man Jason Pebworth on the opening title track with his clear but dull vocals, and we have all immediately deduced that the 'bright idea' is to hit as many number ones as possible. Take that as you like; it may be a clever way to get famous and in the riches, or it may just be the lazy option, to condense music into its most basic but accessible form. The songs are definitely nothing special. Their recent single is one of the few good tracks in Bright Idea, using the term 'good' very lightly and in relation to the rest of the music, which is undoubtedly plain. The guitar skill showed in Orson's music is basically nil, with songs made up of riffs that young teenagers with their Fender Squire starter packs could play easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. The guitarists may be very talented but the simple, tedious music of Bright Idea squashes their skills, as it does to Pebworth's capable voice. Most of Orson's tracks are bordering on too slow, making for an uncomfortable and repetitive listening, and songs like 'Trying to Help' which vary the tempo a little don't do so well. This particular song is attempting some skewy ska beat that is really not working. And is it just me, or do the verses of 'So Ahead of Me' sound like 'The Phantom of the Opera'? Well, at least all the songs have grand, easy to sing along choruses that a happy Coldplay would be proud of and your little sister will love.

Bright Idea is a collection of undemanding, radio-friendly power-pop songs which are extremely mediocre in their musical talent but approachable and nice enough. They will certainly not set your ears on fire, though may make you want to. Critics have been wildly divided on this offering from US power-pop Orson and they have been called everything from 'a great band and really good blokes' to 'musical abominations' - which is it? The album is catchy and accessible, but after a few plays the sparkle is grated away and the simplicity of it just becomes terribly boring. As Orson admit, their music is just for girls to dance to, so enjoy the faster songs, girls; burn a few calories, but do not expect anything original from Bright Idea.