The cover of Freddie Dilevi’s ‘Teenager’s Heartbreak’ is eye catching to say the least. The bright colors and the almost pop-art styled art. I have been excited to check this one out ever since it hit my desk but life has been insane and I’m just now getting the chance to sit down and really listen to this one. I was bright eyed and bushy tailed as I slid the CD into my stereo and hit play.
An old school punk sound took over my house as the first track, “Teenager’s Heartbreak”, took over my house. There’s something very retro about the sound vocalist Pablo Velázquez’s voice that I instantly loved. Although it’s definitely not the typical whiny voice that my emo heart loves, I found the tone of his voice fascinating. The instrumentation behind the vocals is steady and at the perfect tempo while some gang vocals bring it all together in the most perfect way. One song in and I already knew that this was going to be a great album.
“Roll The Dice! (With Dogo)” features Diego Fuentes “Dogo” on some of the vocals. The back and forth between Diego and Pablo’s vocals is absolutely perfect and the way the two voices come together is pure magic. The beat stays the same from the first track for the most part but there’s a stark difference in the two songs that keeps this album moving. The first big change in mood comes with “Johnny Remember Me”. Although Pablo’s distinct vocals are still heard loud and clear, there’s something a little bit darker and moodier about this track that had me captivated. Abbi Fernandez’s absolutely stunning vocals that come in and out throughout this track had me absolutely captivated and had me instantly jotting this track down as a favorite.
A fun and happy-go-lucky beat took back over as “Die Tonight” took over my house. This track had me dancing around to the infectious beat with ease. “Die Tonight” was another favorite of mine on this album. The mixture of old and new is just too perfect on this track to really ignore.
“I Can’t Forgive” has an ear wormy guitar part in it that is sure to be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. There’s a sense of power in the instrumentation of this track that I absolutely loved even though Pablo’s vocals remained the focus on this track as they had on the previous songs. Those vocals steal the spotlight a little bit more for “Half A Chance”. Although the vocals are still clearly Pablo’s, they almost have an Elvis thing about them. I don’t quite know how else to explain it but, if you heard this song, I think it would make sense to you.
Even though I was listening to this album on a CD, the CD sleeve had different sides listed as if it were an LP. “Half A Chance” closes out side 1 and side 2 starts with “Dangerous Game”. Although technically a new side of the album, nothing really changes as “Dangerous Game” took over the speakers. That’s not a complaint at all but I think I was waiting for some drastic change. That being said, why change a good thing?
There’s something about “Young Wilds” that I just couldn’t get enough of. I had to listen to this one a couple of times before moving on but I couldn’t tell you why. There’s something magical about this song that I just can’t put my finger on as it really isn’t that different from the rest of the songs but there’s just something about it.
“Don’t Stop Now” seems to be a bit more of an edge on it than the other songs. It’s not a dark edge, just an edge and it’s something that I wish I had heard more throughout this twelve track album. Speaking of edge (or just surprises), the beginning of “Let The Good Times Roll” was the best surprise ever. An organ kicks this one off with a perfect feel-good string of notes that instantly drew me in before Pablo’s voice took back over. I started wondering if that organ had been in this album this whole time and I just never noticed it but, if you aren’t aware, I write these reviews upon first listen and can only repeat songs, not go back, until the review is done. I guess what I’m trying to say is I wish this organ sound was a bit more prominent throughout the album.
The chugging guitars in “We’re Alive” make it feel like a bit of a race to the final song. This track may be one of the long ones on the album at over three minutes but I feel like it was done in a blink of an eye and, before I knew it, we were at the final track, “A World So Cruel”. This closing track reminds you that Freddie Dilevi is a band with a whole lot of surprises up their sleeves and, although they have a very distinct sound, they will not be put into a singular box when it comes to their genre or style.
Okay, I have to be honest, I love distinct vocals and loved some moments throughout this album where Pablo’s voice showcased something new, but I feel like I got a bit bored with the almost monotone sound of Pablo’s voice that reigned supreme throughout majority of this album. That being said, I love the fact that Freddie Dilevi has a sound that is so clearly theirs. From the vocals to the instrumentation to the old school style with a slight modern twist, this is a band that knows what they are doing and they do it well (whether or not you like it).
My Favorite Track(s): “Johnny Remember Me”; “Die Tonight”; “Young Wilds”
For Fans Of: Old school rock; Vintage sounds
Dance-ability: 4.1 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Both cats laid on the back of the couch in the sun
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 5.1 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 5.3 out of 10
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