Hot Chelle Rae's 'Whatever'

Hot Chelle Rae's 'Whatever'

  • Article by: Daryln Sanders
  • Posted: 12/19/2011

The members of this Nashville-based quartet have serious musical pedigrees. Lead vocalist and guitarist Ryan Keith Follese, his brother drummer Jamie Follese, guitarist Nash Overstreet and bassist Ian Keaggy are all sons of famous songwriters and musicians, and it shows on their second full-length release, Whatever.

First-rate production and performances are behind the bright, shiny, hook-laden vibe that permeates the album. They say there is nothing new under the sun, and that is certainly true here. Hot Chelle Rae is traveling the danceable pop-rock territory already blazed by acts like Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray and others, complete with quasi-rapping.

While the music on Whatever may not be groundbreaking, it is nevertheless full of catchy tunes that stick in your head. The record includes the two tracks which launched the band onto the national stage and powered them to an American Music Award as New Artist of the Year — “Tonight Tonight,” which has garnered more than two million paid downloads and climbed all the way to No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the follow-up single, “I Like It Like That,” which became the teen summer theme. Both songs were cowritten with Evan “Kidd” Bogart and Emanuel Kiriakou.

There’s more where those came from. It’s hard to imagine the album won’t yield at least another hit or two, with “Downtown Girl,” “Beautiful Freaks” and the aptly named “Radio” all being good candidates for Top 40 success.

Hot Chelle Rae didn’t attempt to make a serious artistic statement with Whatever — it’s a snapshot in time of four young guys having fun on the way to their 15 minutes of fame. Whether the band has more than 15 minutes remains to be heard.

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