December 1st 2014 will surely be known to be an exciting moment in pop history – the day that ultimate supergroup McBusted release their debut album.
After a sell-out tour earlier this year, the six-piece boy band decided to knock their creative heads together and release a generous fifteen track album.
The boys have written music together for both Busted and McFly since the beginning, but how would this album pan out? Would it be a fabulous fifteen-track-treat for Christmas or would it be fifteen tracks of torture? Let’s find out…
The album kicks off with the first single Air Guitar. Despite its irritating beat at the beginning, the song becomes annoyingly catchy – a true McFly trait. You can already imagine the live gig in your mind with thousands of fans playing their air guitars as they admire their childhood idols. With great passion and guitar rhythms, the first impressions of the album seem promising and off to a great start.
Then track two begins…
Titled I Hate Your Guts, the song features Mark Hoppus, lead singer of Blink 182. A fast, grungy, punk thrash sound is unleashed – not something I would’ve expected from these six angelic boys, but it is very Blink 182. Similarly, Sensitive Guy, Before You Knew Me, and Back In Time all have the same elements, and it starts to become clear what can be classified as a McFly track and what is a Busted track.
Obviously, there are a few ballads on the album; – Gone is a track which, again, you can instantly picture fans singing along to at a concert, and at this point in the album I finally started to feel it picked up, and I could actually slightly enjoy what I was listening to. However, other ballads including Beautiful Girls are the Loneliest and Getting It Out demonstrate weak lyrical song writing. Although the harmonising and guitar rifts show their true talent, they seemed like a pretty wasteful few minutes to listen to.
Track five is a surprise for all, as we see McBusted get a bit techno and create a weirdly lyrical pop song about how awesome it is owning the bike of your dreams and then getting the girl. Totally rad.
Track seven, Sensitive Guy is probably one of my favourites because it reminds me of Busted’s Fake with its humorous lyrics and cheeky narrative. This is also reflected in How’s My Hair? with funny lyrics that demonstrate odd things we all go through, so weirdly they make sense. I laughed as they sang; “Comb it to the left, comb it to the right, but it just don’t feel right.”
Overall, I enjoyed Air Guitar, Get Over It, Sensitive Guy, Back in Time, How’s My Hair?, and 23:59.
My biggest problem with it is that, to me, it’s not ‘McBusted’, it’s ‘The James Bourne/Matt Willis Show’.
If you’re both a Busted and McFly fan, you’d know that majority of the band members were all in to -and took inspiration from- the American boy band era, such as Green Day and Blink 182. However, this didn’t really reflect that much in McFly’s music as much as it did with Busted. I’ve always said that Busted were a bit more cheekier and daring than McFly because they would sing about things about not being able to perform well in the bedroom, while McFly would sing about a girl who got the man of her dreams while dancing on rainbows and baking cupcakes. Not entirely true, but you get my drift. You just have to watch Tom Fletchers YouTube videos to see what McFly are about, and One Direction‘s Don’t Forget Where You Belong has the boys style written all over it.
If you like the Green Day/Blink 182 vibe then this album may be entirely for you. However, for me, it’s just not worth it. The supergroup tour was a sell-out because fans got to sing along to hits from both boy bands and they remember the amazing childhood they had singing along to Year 3000 and Five Colours in Her Hair. But now it’s like McFly have one route to take with their music and the Busted boys had another, in which we have ended with some weird mixture of two genres and I just don’t really know where I stand with it.
I feel like the supergroup tour was an absolutely amazing idea and a great breakthrough for pop history. It was an important marketing ploy – McFly needed to get back into the public eye and Busted have always craved this too since their shock exit from the industry in 2003; McFly were the way to make this happen.
It seems Busted had a lot of songs they wanted to get heard, in which head of McFly, Tom Fletcher felt a bit guilty telling them no. The whole album is very punk, and you can definitely tell the Busted boys have had a bigger influence on its making than McFly.
Overall? For me, it’s a 7/10. A bit of a disappointment, but there are still some catchy songs in there, showing great enthusiasm and incredible musical skills. Not the best of all songwriting, but it’s certainly not sure to be a flop with their massive, loyal fan base behind them.