I will go ahead and admit that Jack's Mannequin has become a guilty pleasure album.
I will not be starting up a conversation at the pub with the boys by throwing out the line "So I picked up that solo album by the guy from Something Corporate. It's pretty good. You gonna finish those hot wings?" Neither will I be adding it to any Top 10 lists at the end of year, because disclaimers that begin with "Now, before you dump my books and give me a wedgie, I just want to make one thing clear..." are usually best left unsaid. Such is the fate of the guilty pleasure; to be downplayed in public, but enjoyed in private.
When Something Corporate began their musical journey, they were doing so with drivers licenses that were still more or less freshly non-faked. And the music reflected both the energy and naivete of their youth. It was decent enough, but the obvious genre posturing they offered, coupled with some less-than-mature theme choices for songs, made it difficult for too many people already out of high school to take it that seriously. Fortunately for everyone, their first proper album, Leaving Through The Window improved significantly the pop-punk tunes they seemed determined to make. And the emphasis on leader Andrew McMahon's piano playing gave them a unique enough edge to stand out and attract some attention.
Then North came along, and was easily a more consistent and mature release. They proved themselves able to turn out something deeper than just the requisite two radio singles.
And because of their catchy tunes, all the kids cheered. And because the kids cheered, the band kept playing a lot of shows. And then the kids cheered some more. And the band kept playing those shows. And then they stopped touring long enough to take a bathroom break and stock up on some Red Bull. And then Andrew and his girlfriend broke up. And then he did what we all do in our post-girlfriend wallowing: he wrote a whole album and released it to the world.