It was all about me. And her, obviously. But was it always so dramatic?
Sure. Everything is dramatic when you’re fifteen. That group sneering at you
as you walk by in the cafeteria. The next math test. Your next date. Your last
breakup. All of it.
Of course, the Veronicas (Good gawd, that name just pleads for a
“Sugar, Sugar” cover, no?) are not fifteen, not in high school and they’re
surely not worried about cliques during lunch hour. No. Lisa and Jess
Origliasso, identical (and impossibly cute) twins are twenty year olds trying
to climb away from their Australian teen pop roots. Trying to climb into
So why does this music, sure to evoke critic-yawps of “Avril!” and “OC-Ready!”
make me think of those painful teen years? It’s all of the songs about
The first clue that we’re not in teenland anymore is “4ever”. With lines like
“I wanna spend the night with you” and “Just one taste and you’ll want more”,
my question is “Hey, where were the girls like this when I was
“Everything I’m Not”, “When It All Falls Apart”, “Speechless”, “Heavily
Broken”….lotsa confusing liaisons being considered.
Musically, the multiple-producer approach gives the record a schizophrenic
sound. “4ever” (yes, an annoying “numeral-used-as-word” title but, hey, I’ll
admit to liking Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8tr Boi”, so I should just leave it alone)
kicks off with a snarling, single-line guitar riff that goes right along with
the lust to follow. “Revolution” has a verse that reminds me of Lena Lovich’s
sputtering vocal delivery. “Secret” sounds like Gwen Stefani channeling Debbie
Harry. “Mouth Shut” is a sort of power ballad, while “Speechless” is a true
ballad: one that made me realize that Lisa and Jess can actually
sing. It makes me wish for sparser, more organic surroundings for these
Strange…but the overall effect is something like an Australian version of
J-Pop. Maybe with more attitude and edge. And even if none of this is to your
ear’s liking, the surprisingly nasty cover of Tracy Bonham’s “Mother,
Mother” is a total blast.
So yeah, ultimately, this stuff is still all about me. While Secret Life of the Veronicas isn’t exactly something I’d normally gravitate to, it pushes enough buttons to bring back the distant past of my youth. The time when everything seemed both possible and doomed. Why do I want to go there? Beats me!
(First posted on Mark Is Cranky)