tremble clef

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Mêleé, "Built To Last" (2007)

Blue moons are well and fine, but an even rarer occurrence took place last week, right around, as it happened, the mid-Autumn festival. I absent-mindedly had MTV Asia on, and it INTRODUCED ME TO A NEW SONG: Mêleé's "Built To Last." Oh my God, how novel, someone should look into this marketing tool, etc..

The video is pretty ordinary, featuring as it does a rather literal interpretation of the album title (Devils and Angels), and some dubious fashion choices (lead singer Chris Cron, who might just be J'ason D'luv's third cousin, sports a waist coat that's totally on the wrong side of Seth Cohen).

But the song: what a song. It looks like it is or has been #1 in Japan, though the band is American. Specifically, from Orange County, so you know what that means: power-pop! It's been a nice year for the genre, what with a solid (if now trendy-to-diss) album from Fountains Of Wayne, and excellent tracks by Rooney, The Click Five (at a pinch, we might even include Orson).

While "When Did Your Heart Go Missing?" and "Strapped For Cash" have been leading the race for best power-pop single of '07, "Built To Last" is mounting a serious late challenge. That piano riff betrays how much Coldplay is an influence on the band, but the song is gloriously soaring instead of drippy. The same might be said of Cron's vocals. Strong throughout the track, he at points sounds uncannily like Roland Orzabal on the last Tears For Fears album (the underrated Everybody Loves A Happy Ending). On the chorus, that voice is ably supported by backing "ahh"s, and the sweetest of harmonies. But the vocals really get on a roll beginning with a middle eight using a modified version of the chorus melody ("Walking on the hills that night/With those fireworks and candlelight/You and I were made to get love right") which, after the chorus, return one more time with new words ("Cause you are the sun in my universe/Considered the best when we've felt the worst"). It's hard not to get carried away and shout along with the final few lines: most of all, most of all... LOVE. IT. The Japanese got it so right.


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