Runner Runner - Runner Runner
Record Label: Capitol/Clear Entertainment
Release Date: September 28, 2010
The following is an open letter review.
Dear Runner Runner,
Allow me to start this letter off with a plea: stop. Just stop, right now. Please. You're embarrassing yourselves. Guys, listen, I'm gonna be honest: you're all talented people. Remember the bands you left behind for this wretched, recycled glam-pop nonsense? Over It and Don't Look Down? Yeah, same basic principle: pop music built on melody with lyrics that never really outstretched the boundaries of what pop-punk formula suggests remain the skeleton of its existence.
So what the hell is this? A cash-grab? A cry for help? Are terrorists holding your family hostage and the only way to save them is to make shitty and redundant pop music? There has to be some sort of reasonable explanation for ditching beloved pop-punk bands with a backbone for... whatever this is.
When you're 30 years old and writing songs on par with the Jonas Brothers for contextual depth... something is amiss. Hey, I heard the initial demos for this band, and they were terrific. What happened? Why rework them so much, they are merely tracings of their former selves? Just an extention of what Over It had evolved into on their last record, and it all seemed destined for something great. Then what? Metro Station got a hit and you decided it was time to embrace your roots as born-again neons? "So Obvious" was a sparkling muscular rock song before it was re-recorded for the umpteenth time... and now it's just... flat. Goes down about as smoothly as Crystal Pepsi with extra thumbtacks. Every song is littered with electronic tomfoolery and bleached production.
This is like black market Botox to wash away wrinkles: it isn't benefitting you nor does it cover up the imperfections. It merely highlights them even more. Face it, when you're singing about high school crushes and your album cover is graffiti sprayed on a locker, there is no doubt where your intention lies (I'm sure that's paraphrasing a lyric of yours - my bad).
Considering your band name is a poker term, is it ironic that your full hand is showing? In only a few short years, you have released nearly half a dozen EPs, and practically all the same songs have shown up here, minus the covers. Is this a formulated marketing push or blatant lack of creativity? Is the pop genre really that difficult to fake?! What gives? Write a song about, I dunno, adult-themed heartache. Air Supply did it, and they were far less talented than what we've seen you all do.
With song titles like "Hey Alli" and "History, Her Story," both of which flatline on the operating table before a doctor can wash his hands, it really is "So Obvious" what is going on here. Sugar-enriched production, overpolished melodies that are so slick, you feel like you're running on ice when listening to them.
There's really no sense dissecting every song, because it's a humiliating and tepid listen. This is predictable, by-the-numbers, half-assed material that comes across as giving up and going for an easy payday. Songs about heartbreak, summer nights, lies/truths, passing notes, mentioning your heart in literally every song... yeah, okay, we get it. Are your creative pallets so banal you can't come up with anything that's a little off-radar? M. Night Shyamalan probably has a few boring twists you could borrow -- boring, yes, but better than anything presented here.
Perhaps I'll suggest this record to somebody suffering from a Bieber overdose, or a little girl who thinks the Jonas Brothers are "played out." It's just rather sad to see the same guys who wrote Timing is Everything at the age they should have been writing this terrible crap are now hitting 30 and kicking integrity to the curb. You're making Gabe Saporta's career trajectory look almost normal.
Find the light, guys. You know this is not worth your time, nor anyone else who respects good pop music. You are better than this. Sure, you're making the most out of technology and interacting with your fans -- awesome, wonderful. Drowning your music in childish lyrics, dull melodies and exasperating synth-beats just does not suit you dudes. Frankly, it feels like a deception; a facade; an ill-conceived science experiment.
Time to let your music grow with you; not the other way around.
Holy fuck. Best. Review. EVER! I agree with you on all points--and the biting commentary was hilarious.
Except for the whole Gabe Saporta thing. I'll disagree with you there. If Over It were to reunite, I'm pretty sure the dudes could go back to it without changing much in terms of aesthetics. Whereas Gabe? Well, how weird would it be to see "Just Rock & Roll" played by a 30-something douchebag with a shitty hat and a keytar? There's just no going home.
These guys can still recover if they tread carefully. Maybe. Hopefully. Possibly?
this is the line that made me go "wow!! for real?"
Your making Gabe Saporta's career trajectory look almost normal.
if this is true...... just wow..... I mean I have a huge hatred and distaste for what Gabe has become. if this is even worse than that.... I just don't even know how bad it can be. oh man. what happened to these guys?
hahaha exactly. the thing i hate MOST about these guys? the fact that they've defended themselves multiple times saying they are doing what they "love".... Well, you hit the nail on the head when you pointed out their fucking cd cover. The fact that it shows a damn locker just tells you right off the bat they want to appeal to high schoolers when they've been out of high school for at least 10 years...
Also, if they weren't REALLY sellouts....they wouldn't dress like morons. Without even listening to the music, it's hard to be fans of these guys when they all wear neon shirts, leather jackets/gloves and all have to the same exact haircut.... it's pathetic if you ask me. I was probably within their first 50 friends on myspace and enjoyed the hell out of the first demos they had, then eventually deleted them when I saw how they advertised themselves.
eh I hate the electronic parts in their songs as well. Look for the demo of "Dedicate" which isn't on this record, I wish that was how the production sounded. But at the core, these guys can write pop songs really well, and a song like "Paper Cuts" is probably one of the best on here, devoid of shitty electronica elements.