The Click Five switch lead singers, but don’t lose a step on their second album. New vocalist Kyle Patrick doesn’t hit the same high notes as the departed Eric Dill, but it hardly matters. Well-crafted pop confections like “Jenny” and “I’m Getting Over You” go down easy – almost too much so. There’s a by the numbers feeling running through the record, as if the five Berklee grads spent as much time in marketing classes as they did perfecting their sound.
The target audience – teens to twentysomethings who like their hooks hard and emo lite – certainly won’t mind. The mix is edgy enough for Warped fans (“When I’m Gone”), but will safely fit on Radio Disney (“Mary Jane”). “Addicted to Me” sounds like a Rob Thomas outtake, while the simple minded fun of “All I Need Is You” shows the influence of Fountains of Wayne founder (and Click Five mentor) Adam Schlesinger.
“Headlight Disco” suggests a Survivor/Prince mash-up; it’s one of the disc’s high points. A less successful blend is the synth-pop album opener “Flipside,” which cuts erratically between emo noodling and Big Eighties arena rock.
They’re on safer footing with “Happy Birthday, where the song’s protagonist sends a belated wish to his long distance girlfriend. It’s a new take on an old theme, but as a trip to any multiplex makes clear, it’s a season of sequels. The pop music world’s no different.