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Hot Chelle Rae
Lovesick Electric
Jive Records
www.hotchellerae.com


Hot Chelle Rae are heavy on the power pop and lean on acoustic rock. Their latest recording Lovesick Electric has the blazing sonic rush of All Time Low with Dashboard Confessional-esque elevations. Lead vocalist Ryan Keith Follese gives the tracks emotion as guitarist Nash Overstreet puts in a power pop pumping, and the rhythm section of bassist Ian Keaggy and drummer Jamie Follese fortify the songs with a fierce pounding. HCR do not emphasize being original sounding as much as they strive to be good at being strong power pop rockers, which is precisely what they achieve with Lovesick Electric.

Their lyrics strike an emo chord like in "Queen Of The Scene" when Follese observes, "She's sophisticated or so she seems / This place is overrated / But it's the place to be / She never comes alone / And everyone's her friend / Her home away from home / She thinks she's looking classy / But it's easy to see that / She shines like a diamond / Thinks she's a Queen / When she's hanging on the shoulders of Cocaine Kings." The lyrics expose the masks that others wear similarly to City Sleeps' song "Not An Angel". The music and the lyrics show a great deal in common with other power pop artists of HCR's ilk.

HCR's songs are nicely groomed with well thought out climaxes and a charging thrust in the drum strikes. The whipping flusters of "Say (Half Past Nine)" incite adrenaline levels to accelerate, and the ease of the acoustic guitar in "Bleed" functions as a gentle companion for Follese's vocals. The electro-pop rustling and heavy bass beats of "Bushes" drive this song into dance track territory, and the tightly twisted chords of the guitar solo in "Nothing Left To Hide" add a fiery rock rampage, before ending the album with a wave of elevating raptures that define "Last One Standing" billowing to a Dashboard Confessional proportion.

The album was made for people, like Hot Chelle Rae, who are fans of power pop and emo bands. Every track is eligible for Top 40 radio play lists and made for fun. Some songs border on being dance tracks, but for the most part the album's content tilts towards power pop energy.

-Susan Frances

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