A sampler of the “Aren’t our bands great? Look, Rolling Stone says so!” variety, Cheap Date is Columbia’s attempt at showcasing what they hope will be their next big things. You’re probably already familiar with at least some of the bands on this disc: Pete Yorn (who opens with “Undercover,” an unabashedly cheesy rockalong which works surprisingly well) is going to be the next John Mayer, while Stereomud (almost as annoying as Nickleback, with a bit of nu-metal sheen) will do nicely for those who are bored of Staind or who’ve lost their Bon Jovi albums and want something “edgier.” As the liner notes suggest, “You may have seen [The Mooney Suzuki – along with others] on MTV2.” (Is MTV2 supposed to be cool because it’s for the stuff that’s not quite commercial enough for MTV? We’re informed that Kenna’s new video “was shown over 450 times,” so I guess so.)
Basically, that says it all — these bands are earmarked as having some sort of “alternative” appeal. A bit of an edge is great for business, after all. But while I think every single song on here could tear up the charts, most of it (with notable exceptions: the pleasing Yorn cut, Memento’s Stained-esque metal, Fingertight’s emo offering) is dull and commercially packaged.
Cheap Date: http://www.columbiarecords.com/cheapdate/