|The Click Five - Greetings From the Imrie House|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Dan MacIntosh|
|Tuesday, 16 August 2005|
If the Click Five reminds you of Fountains of Wayne, you have good ears, my friend. But if the Click Five also strikes you as a poor man’s Fountains, you have equally good taste as well. These shared values are hardly coincidental, because the Fountain’s Adam Schlesinger penned “Just the Girl” here, and also co-wrote “I’ll Take My Chances.”
The Click Five plays highly melodic pop-rock, which explores familiar boy/girl relationship territory. Fountains essentially take this same route, and then spice up the journey with plenty of original wit, whereas the Click Five mainly plays it straight and predictable. So after a while, Greetings From Imrie House begins to sound like a letter you’d swear you’ve already read someplace else
The Click Five’s greatest asset is its lead vocalist, Eric Dill. Dill lends opener “Good Day” a breathy emotionalism. He also reaches high for perfectly placed falsetto notes during many tracks. Dill mostly places his vocals over New Wave-inspired, power-pop guitar patterns. And speaking of power-pop, the Cars’ Elliott Easton provides one of this CD’s best guitar solos, which elevates “I’ll Take My Chances” above the rest. Clearly, the Cars are a primary influence on the Click Five. Although the band wisely keeps any unnecessary studio accoutrements to a minimum, one hears just a tad bit of Queenly excess during the chorus of “Angel to You (Devil to Me).”
The Click Five’s songs are about as innocent as boy band yearnings, for the most part. Such teen-like romance is exemplified by the line, “Hey girl, I wanna catch your wave” from the track “Catch Your Wave.” Nevertheless, when Dill sings, “Come and meet me in the dark” during “Friday Night,” he’s obviously not talking about an innocent game of hide ‘n seek. The group throws in one cover song, “Lies,” which was a hit in the ‘80s for the Thompson Twins. This new version, not surprisingly, rocks out more than the original.
Well-dressed and likeable, the Click Five is just a little too much like the Wonders – that fictional band from “That Thing You Do.” And wouldn’t you know it: Schlesinger also participated in that project. Simply put, the Click Five comes off as an excellent and accurate power-pop band facsimile, without actually being a great power-pop band. Let’s not forget: It’s not that thing you do, which makes you great. It’s that thing you are.
Producer Mike Denneen, who has also (surprise, surprise) produced Fountains of Wayne, gives this recording the bright sonic it requires. With melodies this strong, it’s always important to be heavy on the vocals but light on the instrumentation. And for the most part, Denneen gets the balance right here.