Album 0212: Reel Big Fish – Cheer Up!

ReelBigFish-CheerUp

Release Date: 2002
Genre: Ska/Punk

Tracklisting:

1. Good Thing (03:38)
2. Somebody Loved Me (03:19)
3. Ban The Tube Top (03:11)
4. Cheer Up (02:44)
5. Where Have You Been? (04:01)
6. Suckers (03:57)
7. What Are Friends For? (03:35)
8. A Little Doubt Goes A Long Way (03:20)
9. Dateless Losers (03:34)
10. Valerie (03:56)
11. Rock ‘N’ Roll Is Bitchin’ (02:54)
12. New York, New York (03:26)
13. Sayonara Señorita (04:09)
14. Boss DJ (03:09)
15. Brand New Hero (03:39)
16. Drunk Again (04:50)
17. Kiss Me Deadly (03:42)
18. Average Man (03:38)
19. Rock It With I/Give It To me (08:56)

Total Length: 01:13:38

Good Thing is a decent opening track for the album. It’s really not one of my favorites, but I enjoy the vocals and chorus a fair amount. Somebody Loved Me kind of tries to be a callback to a song on the band’s previous album, but this track isn’t anywhere near as good and I usually forget it exists if I haven’t listened to this album in a while. Ban The Tube Top is still one of my favorite songs by the band. It’s silly, cheesy, and catchy and I love it. This version still has the best guitar tone of all their recordings of it, and I even like the little tag at the end.

Cheer Up has a funny story attached to it, but much like the second track I almost never listen to it outside the context of the album. Where Have You Been? really annoyed me when I was first getting into the band since it seemed like such an obvious sell out track, but over time I’ve grown to love it. It’s pretty good on its own, and then finding out that it’s Aaron copying his own song (Beer) and how fun the live versions can be made me love the song. Suckers is a decent song, which unfortunately is kind of the standard for this album.

What Are Friends For? is a fairly fun song, I like the rhythm of it. It however immediately gets upstaged by A Little Doubt Goes A Long Way, which is one of the best tracks on the album. The production for once adds something here, making the song sound like a ton of fun and begging you to sing along. Dateless Losers is back on the “meh” pace though, it’s not an entirely interesting song. Valerie isn’t either, the lyrics are kind of neat once you realize they are about the band’s producer rather than a girl, but the song is tiring.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Is Bitchin’ is a weird, pseudo-live track and the point in the album where the gimmick tracks start to come out. One major problem with this album is the tracklisting/track order. Relegating all the covers/odd songs to the end was a bad idea, and could have added some variety earlier in the album. New York, New York is a Sinatra cover, and entirely a cappela and it is honestly pretty awesome. This works incredibly well. Sayonara Señorita is essentially an instrumental, it’s a lot of fun and I appreciate it more now than I used to.

Boss DJ is a Sublime cover, and honestly pretty different than the original. This offended some people at the time, for some reason, but I find it to be a very fun, catchy song. Brand New Hero however feels like it belongs on the first half of the album, and by that I mean it’s a boring pop-punk song that I really don’t get. Drunk Again is pretty similar to Scott Klopfenstein’s solo project, and I’m very glad this song made it on here. It’s a fantastic ballad, and anyone who dislikes it doesn’t have a soul.

Kiss Me Deadly is a Lita Ford cover, it’s incredibly fun and it’s weird that it and the next few songs were “bonus tracks” when they are so, so much better than a couple songs on the main album. Average Man is brilliant, and just like Drunk Again makes me really sad considering Scott has left RBF. I love when they experiment like this. Rock It With I is a reggae thing, and a Melodians cover. It’s highly enjoyable. There is then some silence before Give It To Me starts. This is a J. Geils Band cover and again very enjoyable. I know people complain about RBF doing a lot of covers, but on this particular album I would have rather had them than some other songs. Overall this album has some very choice songs, but it’s one of my least favorite albums by the band, because of its inconsistently and that it was made at a time the band was mostly unhappy.

Final Rating: 7/10

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