CD Review of Madeline by Tickle Me Pink
Recommended if you like
The Starting Line, Hawthorne Heights, whining
Wind-Up Records
Tickle Me Pink: Madeline

Reviewed by Jason Thompson


ome on. Is anyone else really just flat-out tired of the sounds bands like Tickle Me Pink are cranking out? You know the sounds I’m talking about. The sort of angst-filled pop tunes with loud guitars playing the same old chords while some young-sounding male lead vocalist sings his heart out about some girl who did him wrong, which instead of making him smarter only makes him whine and want her more. The kind of sound that maybe emo kids riding around on their skateboards might like to listen to at 15 because that’s the only demographic that seriously cares about such a group. These bands come and go with such ease that no one even notices when they are gone, much less when they were here.

Of course, Tickle Me Pink has the honor (or whatever you call it) of having a decent-sized “hit” (if it really is that these days) entitled “Typical” to kick off this album. And well, when you have a song with that title courting such a generic sound like these guys are rocking, the irony is just too damn sweet. Now sing along to the sweet refrains of “You can’t play me like that, it’s a matter of fact / You’re nothing more than a typical whore / And I won’t be your fool anymore.” Well, at least the simplistic rhymes and acne-addled imaginations are intact.

But then on “The Time Is Wrong,” the sentiment seems the same, but our hero is into it this time around. “With impure motives and a lustful grin / I’ll steal your heart again / Embrace the truth.” All this while the guitars get loud and make heavy for the Vans crowd to body-surf to. And yet when the third song “The Lush Life” rolls into town, this band’s reliance on bitchy, whining lyrics has already played itself out for far too long. “Don’t come around here no / Just let me go, go, go,” we’re told. OK, fine. Sounds like the best advice Tickle Me Pink has given thusfar.

The title track is also a mess. Another tale about another sad girl all broken down that the lead singer wasn’t around for. Oh, how he wishes he was there now to have assuaged her fears. “Oh oh oh oh, I never said goodbye / Oh oh oh oh, I wish I would have tried / Oh oh oh oh I couldn’t hear her cries / As she filled her veins with lies / Till she saw the light.” Seriously? These rhymes are completely fucking terrible, period. You want to write a heart-wrenching tale about a chick you once k new who OD’d and died, you could at least put some more thought into it. Even the line about “smoking cigarettes until our throats would bleed” is straight out of a 17-year-old’s lyric book. Maybe it’s just time to give it up already.

So onward the band trudges with more lame examples of bad love, as on “We Still Dance” and “I Can’t Breathe.” By the time they make it to “Go Die” and such awe-inspiring moments as “I laid beside the moonlit ocean / Gazing into the sky / Then I cried up through the blackness / Waiting for a reply,” you’re ready to go get the razors for all the band members and offer to help. Seriously, no one likes to hear someone whine over the course of an entire album about various chicks that are all so tragic and tainted. Ugh. It doesn’t make for good songwriting, and it certainly doesn’t make Tickle Me Pink worth a second listen. If you’re old enough to know better, you don’t need to hear this. If you’re a freshman in high school, go ahead and spin it once, learn how not to whine and listen to some real rock and roll, because this surely isn’t it.

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