The Deal: Former Smashing Pumpkin guitarist James Iha, Hanson's singer Taylor Hanson, Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos and Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger team up for newest "supergroup."
The Good: With so many supergroups, collaborations and mash-ups these days, you have to give credit to four guys with established careers to try something completely different. Iha is a talented guitarist who has made brief appearances since leaving the Pumpkins – he was in A Perfect Circle at one point – and finds time to shine by working in a solo here and there, though most of his time is spent strumming chords. The upbeat, pop rhythm of the album's first four tracks gets a counterweight with the slower, ballad style of "Back With You."
The Bad: As much as you want it to lean towards the Smashing Pumpkins side of the group, it tends to go more toward the Hanson one. It's far too pop for my taste, despite those flashes from Iha. There are times when Hanson's pronunciation were distracting to me, not that he's mumbling, but just not enunciating half of the words. There's a Beatles-esque chorus in "Cha Cha," but the lyrics make you think – "I'm older than 12, so I hope no one ever hears me listening to this song." Seven of the album's 11 tracks were written by Schlesinger, one was written by Hanson. one by both of them and two tracks were written by Iha. Most of them contain classic rock rhythms – I expected a little more originality.
The Verdict: You have to get past the Hanson connection to give it a chance. These guys aren't reinventing the wheel – it's radio-friendly, pop rock that borders on something too simplistic with its "Woah," "Ooh" and "Cha-cha" cheesiness. It's interesting to hear what the quartet created, but not something I could listen to regularly.