Rooney by Rooney

Rooney | Rooney | Rating: 8/11 | Reviewed by: Jennifer F. |

Released: May 20, 2003

Rooney’s debut album by the same name was released on May 20th of 2003 through Geffen Records. All songs on the disc were written by a now 21-year-old Robert Carmine. The age of the band allows for a fresh, young, and catchy first release. However, the youngness is also responsible for the simplistic nature of the lyrics that are far from profound. Rather, the lyrics are at times cute and sweet, or at their worst, immature and almost offensive. 

During the song, “Popstars,” the subject is the “unsophisticated machines” of the same name. The concept is pushed with conviction as if the lyrics were insightful and original, when in fact the view expressed is trite and perhaps misdirected in its antagonism. In the track, “Daisy Duke,” the song states, “When you think that you know me I’ll blow you away so baby bow down Daisy Duke.” While the song is catchy and the alliteration likeable, the lyrics make the listener pause and question the validity of the songwriter. I feel compelled to explain away the offensiveness as respectable honesty in songwriting or as a mere observatory note on the culture in which the songwriter lives. Furthermore, in the song, “I’m a Terrible Person,” the lyrics say, “I don’t think I’ll ever wake up lonely cause having her around wasn’t all that special.” Again, I hesitate. If the lyrics are not autobiographical, then I feel I can trust the singer and thus am free to enjoy the music thoroughly. 

The lyrics are more likeable in the songs, “If It Were Up To Me,” “That Girl Has Love,” “and “Losing All Control.” The music in these three tracks are also among the best on the album. All songs, though, have fun, catchy music and are well played. My own neurotic compulsion to respect the messages given and the lyrics sung may be unique to me, in which case, Rooney’s CD is a nice piece of work all around.

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