The Audition - Champion

10 songs
34:11 minutes
***** ****


More than two years after their debut Controversy Loves Company, Chicago emo punks The Audition are back with their second album Champion. Where their previous effort drowned a little in a quagmire of similar releases, the guys must have taken that to heart and present themselves quite mature and much developed on the new record. Describing themselves as a mixture between Fall Out Boy and Kool and the Gang, you get some of the strangest stuff ever to have been released as emo. The punk components have all but vanished; instead you get truly soulful pop songs that at times even make them sound like the Backstreet Boys, if they opted for harder guitars and less effects on the vocals. So yes, basically, Champion is an ultra-commercial album, but in a totally unselfconscious way, and that’s what makes this album a winner.

From the opener Basbhat to the single cut Warm Me Up, we have a furious start into a sugar-coated emo pop album that surprised more than once, especially Edinboro sounds like white man’s soul. With What Gets You Through The Night, there’s even a real ballad on the album.

With a lot of contemporary emo hiding its commercial aspects under a flurry of distorted guitars, The Audition stand out as a band that highlights its catchy melodies without feeling embarrassed about it, and that deserves respect. Certainly not a rocker, but probably the kind of album you can listen to even in the presence of your girlfriend. And it’s full of hits!

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