Naked: the Firehouse of the 21st century.
When I was a little younger, I had Firehouse's Hold Your Fire on cassette tape. Even at 11 or 12 years old, I had enough sense to be a slight bit ashamed of this fact, but you know, I wore that tape right out. Why? Sugary sweet rock 'n roll hooks, rock songs that never changed tempos, and a surprising lack of pretense. I mention this because it's those three things that Naked has in droves on their debut album for Megamania records, a little something with the all-too-cute title of Let's Get Naked... and Start a Revolution. This is the rock 'n roll of the late '80s, when everyone was kinda getting sick of hair bands but hadn't come up with anything better to listen to, when Poison and Mötley Crüe passed for pop bands. Naked's sound is a little bit Crüe, a little bit Guns 'n Roses, and a little bit of the modern garage-rock of, say, The Hives. There's a power ballad (the really-pretty-awful "Touch"), there's an ode to a girl from the wrong side of the tracks ("Dirty Denise"), and there's a fist-pumping anthem whose true intentions might be a bit less noble than social activism ("Revolution", whose chorus gleefully repeats the album title over and over again). Plus, Naked has indie cred, since soccer moms probably won't be singing along to their hit single anytime soon, as they did so many years ago with Firehouse's "When I Look Into Your Eyes". Still, listening to the album is enough to make you feel a little bit dirty, and there's really nothing behind the glossy, pleasingly poppy exterior. Stop looking for anything deep, however, and what they've come up with is a fun little throwback of an album that never aspires to anything more.