The Summer Set – Everything's Fine
Record Label: Razor & Tie
Release Date: July 19th, 2011
With all the trash being spewed out of our speakers, is it just me who fears for the future of music? Sure, you have your Thursdays and your Bon Ivers sprinkling hope onto our youth, but what about music on the poppier side? When all of the successors of pop's saving grace are now either diminishing (All Time Low), regressing (Set Your Goals), or just disappearing forever (The Graduate), you have to wonder if new acts will entirely consist of the same trite qualities in music we're seeing every other week. Either that...or becoming Design the Skyline cover bands.
Meanwhile, Arizona quintet The Summer Set were never exactly known as doing anything genre defining. Their debut In Color EP back in 2008 garnered attention which eventually led to the more focused Love Like This full-length. It was promising, but other than the two monster singles "Chelsea" and "The Boys You Do (Get Back at You)," it left for something to be desired. Now 2 years later, the desire is fulfilled with The Summer Set's Everything's Fine, and it displays pop progression at its finest.
The Summer Set's new 11 track full-length expands on their previous sound, yet still contains the charm that made them enjoyable to listen to in the first place. Overall, the music is fairly toned down this time around. The opener "About a Girl" is appropriately titled and essentially sets the mood for the rest of the record -- musically and lyrically. The album is about a girl. There are no doubts about that fact. However, instead of taking the typical cheesy route that accompanies pop and females, it adds a tinge of originality separating it from the pack. In addition, frontman Brian Logan Dales' vox has significantly improved, solidifying himself as one of the better singers currently in the genre. It all fits incredibly well in the direction that Everything's Fine takes, where it tends to give more of a breezy atmosphere instead of the in-your-face hooks that The Summer Set typically provide.
With that said, some may associate the lack of an upbeat tempo in pop music as "not fun," but Everything's Fine is still a blast. There aren't any blood pumping choruses like the one found in "Chelsea," however the first single "Someone Like You" and "Must Be the Music" still offer melodies that will make your head spin. One of the standouts, "Mona Lisa," is screaming to be included on the Top 40 charts while "Thick as Thieves" offers a throwback to Love Like This as it's easily the catchiest on the record. Production wise, John Fields does a superb job at taking the sound of The Summer Set and making it flourish to their full potential.
Perhaps my hope in pop music isn't entirely lost. There will of course always be bands that do the genre justice, and some will do it better than others. The music left by previous bands, whether they're no longer with us or no longer have that same passion, will definitely still stick. However, Everything's Fine just takes that bar to another level, yielding an album that will make future bands say "hey, let's make our music sound like that." Everything is fine, and it's all thanks to The Summer Set.