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You Asked For It: Hollywood Heartthrob

Hollywood Heartthrob
The Takeover

Grade B-

When financial considerations mean songs needs to be replaced for a DVD release of a film or a TV show, producers usually turn to generic sounding music to take the place of the more popular, but prohibitively expensive, tune. Tinsel-town just might come knocking on Hollywood Heartthrob's door, if their debut release The Takeover, is any indicator. They'd make a great stand-in for that Rolling Stones track some movie exec can't negotiate rights to.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's not like we have never heard this stuff before. The Takeover isn't terrible, and it's clear that a lot of money was put into this self-produced release. But, then again, you can put a lot of money into almost anything, and if the substance just isn't there, no one is to blame but the creative minds behind it.

The attempt, however, is extremely admirable. Ted Myers is a former non-editorial employee of New Times corporate company, who struck it big with the Mayo Clinic Health and Wealth Raffle and wanted to follow his dream of Rock Stardom. Hell, wouldn't we all want that one chance to follow our dreams if given the opportunity? His dream was to be a rock star, so the money went in to his band. What did it buy?

The album starts with an oft-placed dummy track called "Slow Motion Foreplay," made to sound like somebody is walking into a car and tuning a radio. The driver goes through various stations including talk, muzak and Spanish music until he hears a raucous drum beat and decides to stay on this station. The radio station? Why it was the start of The Takeover's second track, the cleverly titled, "Pledge of a Genius."

Whether they were trying to or not, Hollywood Heartthrob ended up sounding like flash in the pan emo group Hawthorne Heights. Even though the "Cut my wrists and slash my eyes" type lyrics weren't there, the sound certainly was.

The best part of this album is the CD cover itself, and all of the hilarious pictures inside. The group is depicted as already being famous and having all of their moves followed and stalked by the paparazzi. These photos include trying to have a private meal, exiting a limousine in a bath robe... and a middle finger, going out for a family walk, and one that appears to be a situation where one of the band members is in some sort of legal trouble, since they look so out of place in suits standing in front of a courthouse. The back cover shows all five members posing for mug shots. The price of fame, I suppose.

The Takeover isn't that bad. If my iTunes was on random and "Undress to Impress" started playing, I wouldn't shriek with horror and change the song. but I wouldn't go seeking it out, either. 

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John LaBarbera