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William Beckett - Genuine & Counterfeit Album Cover

William Beckett - Genuine & Counterfeit

Reviewed by
8.5
William BeckettGenuine & Counterfeit
Record Label: Equal Vision Records
Release Date: August 20, 2013
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
William Beckett seems to never stop making music. He’s been going at it for ten years strong, and even with the end of The Academy Is… in 2011, Beckett hasn’t stopped moving at all. Since then, he has cranked out three EPs and a live album. Not to mention the fact that Beckett has been on the road nonstop throughout this time, sharing the stage with Relient K, The Rocket Summer, Anberlin, and more. Yep, to say the least, he’s been a busy guy.

During all of these releases and touring, Beckett managed to find time to record a full length, official debut record, Genuine & Counterfeit. Beckett has always had an ear for pop and a knack for addictive melodies, and this proves true throughout this record. But of course, we shouldn’t be surprised to hear a handful of slower, more ballad-tinged songs, and that’s the side of Beckett that the second half of the record caters to.

The first half Genuine & Counterfeit contains pop hit after pop hit. Soft guitar strums perk up your ear on the opening “Pick Up The Phone,” and as the handclaps start up, you know something good is building up. Then Beckett dives into the chorus, creating a massive pop song that allows Beckett to flex his pipes while always containing addictive handclaps and constant guitars. Rhythmic kick drums lead the way into “In My Blood,” this time using “oh-oh-oh’s” to dive into another pop-infused chorus. Lead single “Benny & Joon” – and what I’d argue to be the album’s pop stand out and perfect single choice – comes next, beginning with a synth line that Passion Pit fans will nod their head in approval with. Over the past few months, different moments of the song have stuck out most to be, but I’d have to say it’s Beckett’s boldness that really stands out, as he has no hesitation to embed the line “Well I guess it’s been a really fucked up year” with such suave execution that it commands a devilish smirk.

The lighter half of the album begins with the unexpected nature of “By Your Side,” which works as the perfect transition. After Beckett’s easy-going voice creeps in, a banjo pops out of left field before the grandiose drums fill the room and Beckett’s vocals sound spectacular while hitting the high notes of the chorus. Beckett continues to provide some unexpected instrumental flourishes, with “Cracks In The Ceiling” featuring a somber guitar line and distant drum tap to allow the focus to be on Beckett’s soaring vocals.

However, while there are many great tracks, “One In The Same” and “Time For A Sign” absolutely dominate the second half of the record. At first, the former feels like it could be a more mid-tempo, overly safe pop song, but then the song slowly builds up and then stops as Beckett executes one of the powerful songs on the record as he sings, “If you’re tired of waiting out in the rain / You and I my dear are one in the same.” The constant palm mutes carry you through the song, and it sinks in as one of the best songs in Beckett’s career. Similarly, the latter features Mayday Parade’s Derek Sanders in what results in a song that sounds very Mayday influenced due to the vocal playoffs. The song also waits until the chorus to erupt, but the vocal playoff between Beckett and Sanders occurs in perfect harmony, resulting in one of the most emotional cuts here.

With Genuine & Counterfeit, Beckett proves yet again – and this time all on his own – that he should be a household name in pop music. His ear for melody and placement allows each song to have different small pieces that shine. It’s evident right off the bat that Beckett wanted each song to have something a little different in it, whether it’s an instrument or vocal line. As a result, Genuine & Counterfeit has an elegantly divided mix of wit and emotion, something William Beckett has always had a knack for. And you know what – there’s nothing counterfeit about it.

8.5/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 18
09:46 AM on 08/21/13
#2
therookielot
the shape of punk just came
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This review got me excited. Can't wait to check this out.
09:46 AM on 08/21/13
#3
petter182
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Loved Academy Is.. - Almost Here so many years ago, but hadn't gotten around to checking out William's stuff until I read this review. And holy crap, this record is incredible!
10:06 AM on 08/21/13
#4
MrBenjaminQLee
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This is one of my favorite albums of the year so far. I really don't see why members are rating it so low...
10:26 AM on 08/21/13
#5
ALT/MSC/FAN
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I'm very excited to give this a listen. Will's voice and song writing chops are the main reasons I really dug The Academy Is...'s stuff.
10:46 AM on 08/21/13
#6
goodguy8705
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"By Your Side" is an amazing song. That I can say for sure.

Not sure what the 44% user review is about. Seems like someone is holding a grudge.
11:30 AM on 08/21/13
#7
iam1bearcat
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This review made me really interested in checking this out. Never got around to checking out his series of EP's but will pick this up after work via amazon. Sounds perfect for the last few weeks of summer.
12:02 PM on 08/21/13
#8
guitarguy211
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Great review. Definitely love how it has the poppy stuff and the ballads. And One In The Same/Time For A Sign are easily early favorites at the moment.
01:39 PM on 08/21/13
#9
OctoberOrigins
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This might be a better album front-to-back than any of TAI's were. Love it.
01:42 PM on 08/21/13
slimfenix182
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Finally got around to checking out all his solo videos the other day. Really don't dig his solo stuff at all, and man does he come across as awkward as a solo artist. That Benny and Joon video is hard to watch. I'll give this album a listen though.
01:48 PM on 08/21/13
herestoyoufla
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Didn't know what to expect from his solo stuff, but i was pleasantly surprised. The guy knows how to write.
09:02 AM on 08/22/13
Craig Manning
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This is a solid record. Haven't listened to much of his stuff since The Academy Is, but I liked their last record more than just about everyone, so it's not hard to understand why I dig the pop sound of this new album so much. Can see myself listening to this one a lot throughout the course of the fall.
10:49 AM on 08/22/13
Ryan Gardner
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This is a solid record. Haven't listened to much of his stuff since The Academy Is, but I liked their last record more than just about everyone, so it's not hard to understand why I dig the pop sound of this new album so much. Can see myself listening to this one a lot throughout the course of the fall.
Yeah it'll be a great fall album. Along with new 1975
10:56 AM on 08/22/13
Craig Manning
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Yeah it'll be a great fall album. Along with new 1975
Can't wait to get my hands on that one. You heard it yet?
11:25 AM on 08/22/13
Ryan Gardner
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Can't wait to get my hands on that one. You heard it yet?
Yep. It's everything I wanted it to be.

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