[30 October 2007]
PopMatters Interviews Editor
Sometimes it’s just astonishing how quickly “Frankenbands” are signed. “Frankenband”, of course, refers to a group that has an shockingly similar sound to a band that’s currently hugely popular (see: Hinder trailing Nickelback). The Last Goodnight no doubt got their major label contract due to their remarkable similarity both Maroon 5 and The Fray. Yet by mixing those two sounds together (white-boy R&B-pop and confessional piano-rock balladeering, respectively), we wind up with a rather anonymous mix of Top 40-aping pop-rock songs that are filled with large hooks, painfully average lyrics (“Everything is everything / You’re everything to me”), and a crystal-clear studio sheen. Obvious single “Pictures of You” aside, the Last Goodbye do manage do distinguish themselves a bit with a unique jazz-sensibility that manages to work its way into the first two songs (“Poison Kiss” and “Back Where You Belong”), and it’s here that the band manages to sound comfortable and exciting at the same time. These lounge-club instincts make for the most entertaining moments on Poison Kiss, which, otherwise, is drowned out in mid-tempo pop-rock drudgery. Who knows how many A&R men got in the way, but it’s obvious that the Last Goodbye’s calling is larger than simply being Maroon 5 coattail riders, “Frankenband” status be damned.