Hot Chelle Rae – Lovesick Electric

hot chelle rae lovesick electric

Written By: Ben Millikan

Label: Jive – Rating:

For a debut album, Hot Chelle Rae’s Lovesick Electric sure doesn’t feel like it. After rereading their bio to make sure that this was in fact their first studio release, I’m still sort of reeling at the amazing eleven song collection that the dance-rock act was able to put together during their first trip to the studio. It probably doesn’t hurt that vocalist and guitarist Ryan Keith Follese, his brother/drummer Jamie Follese and lead guitarist Nash Overstreet are the sons of A-list Nashville songwriters. Oh, and bassist Ian Keaggy’s father, he’s just a grammy-nominated guitarist. Not too shabby of a foundation for four guys from Nashville.

Despite their youth and inexperience, Hot Chelle Rae’s work shows how the guys are wise beyond their years with carefully constructed songs and an overall dynamic balance to Lovesick Electric. The album opens with “Say (Half Past Nine),” an energetic dance number with a catchy guitar riff and a disco-esk drum beat. Fittingly enough, the next track (“I Like to Dance”) is built around the same formula, but the tonal elements have been slightly modified.

Although Lovesick Electric does at times cross into the threshold of repetitiveness (the sixteenth notes on the high-hat does get old after a while, even if it is the perfect dance beat), there are a couple of straight-up rock songs to add more variety to the album. “Bleed” is an acoustic power-ballad that opens with a few simple chords on the guitar and builds up to a full, driven chorus. And “The Distance,” undoubtedly the most complete song on the album, moves from a dark blend of strings, synth stabs, and clean electric guitar picking into a heavy, orchestra-filled chorus. The song continues its dynamic journey into a light marching-band drum roll during the bridge before exploding into a tasty guitar solo, and finally fading out with a different string patch under the soothing “ooh’s” of vocalist Ryan Keith Follese.

And speaking of Follese: despite being only twnety-two and having lyrics that would confirm just as much, his amazing vocal range is indicative of an award-winning singer. Reminiscent of Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba, Follese’s soaring vocals serve has the glue that really holds the whole album together.

Overall, Lovesick Electric is an impressive debut. Hot Chelle Rae obviously took the time to craft each song, as opposed to rushing into the studio and laying down whatever came out. If the band focuses less on the dance grooves and Follese learns to put more of himself into his lyrics then Hot Chelle Rae could very well be on their way in becoming the heir to The Killers.

Rating: 3.5 Gunz

Like Hot Chelle Rae? Check out: The Killers, The Bravery


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