The Summer Set - Love Like ThisIf you’re more than 16 years old — and let’s face it, dear reader, you probably are (we know our demographic here at Popdose!), continue reading only if you have a teenage daughter or “niece” that you need to shop for. Right out of the box, I mistakenly thought that the Summer Set was the bastard child of some unholy union between Rick Springfield (one of my guiltiest of guilty pleasures) and Blink-182 (not so much). In reality, however, the real touchstone for this young Arizona band is, for better or worse, the Jonas Brothers.

I don’t profess to know much about what is described as the “pop-punk” genre. I think it would be more accurately described as the “music that young girls like” genre, but that’s outside of my purview. There’s nothing inherently wrong with Love Like This (Razor & Tie). The guitars are bright, the drums are dance-y, and the music is slickly produced by Matt Grabe. The songs are upbeat, sunny, trite, and utterly without meaning, at least to someone outside of the band’s demo, which I most assuredly am. Oh, and one more thing about those songs, they all sound exactly the same. Here’s a little something called “Passenger Seat” which is perfectly representative of the album. Thankfully, at about 36 minutes, it’s not like you have to devote a big part of your life to it. Once again, I’m not an authority, but I’d say that if the band scores high in the all-important visual sweepstakes (can’t really tell from the photo I have), you’re as likely as not to see them on the next Nickolodeon Teen Choice Awards.

In short, I am not the right guy to review this album if you’re looking for some positive press from which to capture a blurb for your next release. Wait a minute — I did say “there’s nothing inherently wrong with Love Like This.” Maybe they can use that.

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About the Author

Ken Shane

Ken Shane lives in Narragansett, R.I. He is a freelance writer and far and away the oldest Popdose writer. In fact, he may be the oldest writer, period. He wants you to know that he generally does not share his colleagues' love for the music of the '80s, and he does not forgive them for loving it. (Ken passed away in November 2022. R.I.P. —Ed.)

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