Album: The Ordinary Boys <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

How to Get Everything You Wanted in Ten Easy Steps, B-UNIQUE
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The Independent Culture

The Ordinary Boys are temperamentally the polar opposite to Meat Loaf's melodramatic bombast, so obsessed with the everyday that their songs never quite summon up enough imaginative puff to float one's interest. Being a musically stunted outfit with just the single ska-punk style doesn't help in addressing the imagination shortfall either, while the album's supposedly sardonic take on tabloid celebrity culture is fatally compromised by songwriter Preston's embrace of it. Thus is the noble history of pop protest recycled as cynical sloganeering ("Get ready for this tip-off/Get ready, it's the great big rip-off"), while his new twist on "Lonely at the Top" - complaining about how everyone's your friend when you're as famous as him - lacks the ironic charm of Randy Newman's original conceit. It's all just too pat, with the passage from euphoria ("We've Got the Best Job Ever") to suicidal despair ("My name in lights, or my name in stone") rushed through in successive songs; but the band's underlying problem is exposed on "Thankyou & Goodnight", an instrumental bereft of inspiration.

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