It’s clear that here at Maximum Pop! we love a good boyband, so we’re grateful that relatively new band Big Time Rush have emerged as one of the most prominent successors to the US boyband crown previously held by Backstreet Boys and N*Sync (and now we’re realising our age…).
However, with second album Elevate coming from the success of their self-titled Nickelodeon TV show, have Big Time Rush done enough to cement their places as a band strong enough to challenge the likes of One Direction, JLS and The Wanted here in UK?
While the album remains very firmly in boyband territory and doesn’t venture out of its comfort zone much, it’s nevertheless a very good slice of pop music at its best – especially considering the fierce competition out there. Tracks like the trailer single ‘Music Sounds Better With U’ and ‘All Over Again’ showcase plenty of catchy electro pop and schmaltzy dance-balladry respectively and pull it off, but the album can drift into both, treading on too many bands’ toes – ‘Show Me’ is a piano-led midtempo track which reeks of N*Sync, the summery and hazy ‘Cover Girl’ is 1D’s ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ with a different accent and ‘You’re Not Alone’ is a cookie-cutter ballad that’ll sound great gracing the soundtrack of an emotional scene of a show like Pretty Little Liars.
The main point of contention seems to be the lack of new and discernable themes amongst the boys’ songs – all of them are odes to their current girlfriends or objects of desire with little change in subject matter; ‘No Idea’ sees the band dealing with some unrequited love, while songs like the cheery and Iyaz-guest-starring ’If I Ruled The World’, the swoony and fangirl-satisfying ‘Invisible’, the R&B influenced ‘Superstar’ and the bland, handclap-heavy party song ‘Time Of Our Life’ all continue the romantic influence – but if nothing else, it’ll earn them a legion of fans more rabid than the girls (and boys) who worship Harry Styles’ hair more than Kerry Katona worships an interview with OK!
The points where the album rises highest are when the boys unleash their wild side and engage in some dance-y antics, going further into the euphoria vein than predecessors like the Jonas Brothers – ‘Love Me Love Me’ is a JLS-lite uptempo tune that proves extremely easy on the ear while the title track is a Eurodance-soaked and unashamedly cheesy song that has an infectiously catchy chorus and concept. Best of all is bonus track ‘Epic’ which more than lives up to its title – sounding like one of the greatest songs that Eurovision never used, it’s the aural equivalent of a double-stuffed Oreo: not particularly good for you, but twice as delicious as anything else out there.
In conclusion, don’t go expecting anything revolutionary or earth-shatteringly awesome from Elevate – but there is a lot on the album to love. Kendall, Carlos, James and Logan have nothing to worry about as long as they keep on producing pop albums as fun as this, which, thanks to their loyal fanbase, seems extremely likely.
Watch the video for new single ‘Music Sounds Better With U’ below.