Review: The Audition – Great Danger

Artist: The Audition
Album: Great Danger
Genre: Pop Rock
Label: Victory

Four releases deep and The Audition continue to evolve. While this may not sound too interesting to fans of heavier music, pop music fans may be startled. Having seemingly nailed down a formulaic, but successful formula for any scale of pop rock masterpiece between their self titled and Champion, The Audition are refusing to completely settle just yet. That said, Great Danger, the group’s fourth release, is anything but what the title suggests. In all actuality, the album is simply 11 tracks that choose to refine the sound these Illinois based rockers have been chasing so hard instead of breaking new ground. Then again, why fix something that isn’t broken?

Wasting no time getting to the sugary world of pop rock, “Let Me Know” starts the record off strong. Vocalist Danny Stevens uses the majority of this track and Great Danger as a whole to showcase his finely tuned vocals which greatly impact the overall sound of the record. Where in the past his big voice would walk a fine line between being overblown and downright amateur when changing keys and notes, this album finds him landing in just the right place to guide the clean and shiny look the group’s music is going for. “You Ruined This,” the angst ridden third track on the record, comes packed with enough sing-a-long worthy moments to create an entire new Now That’s What I Call Music series. The hook, “don’t tell me that you ruined this, cuz you’re scared, that I know, that you’re full of it, for every minute you wasted, I will tear, all apart, what is left of this” will be stuck in your skull your skull for weeks. Well, maybe weeks, but maybe only days if you continue on as “He’s All You Want,” the very next track, packs an equally catchy and memorable hook.

As we dig into the album’s back half, there’s not too much to be said about innovative sounds. Then again, I never said this was a solid album based on its achievements in originality. No, this record works because it simply makes good on a well worn formula. “Honest Mistake,” the 8th track on Great Danger, perfectly encapsulates the sound [I think] The Audition has been going for over these four records. We have the pop punk roots in the guitar work and overall song structure, but Stevens’ vocals have the kind of room for expression generally found in pop music. The hook is gigantic, but its the music that makes the track and that is exactly what sets The Audition apart from the flood of Glamour Kills addicted youth in the market today. They don’t settle for one element being amazing, but rather find what makes the song click with listeners and then work to ensure every element is at least that good as well. It’s a demonstration in being a true musical act that MANY could take something away from. Follow this with the heartbreaking , “Run Away,” add a couple more delicious pop hooks and riffs in the form of “Never Heard Again” and the rock tinged “Final Adventure,” and you have The Audition’s most solid release to date.

In the world of pop rock, there’s only two routes a band can possibly go. There’s those who hit it big and fade into obscurity almost as fast [*cough* most FBR bands signed in 2009 *cough*] and then there’s those who learn how to evolve without alienating their original fan base. The Audition not only fall into the second category, they define it. Over the course of their four, increasingly well-rounded releases, these young rockers have proven time and time again that they not only meet, but SET the bar for pop rock in the new millennium. The title Great Danger must be a warning to those trying to stake claim to this title because at the rate they’re going, nothing and no one will be stopping The Audition anytime soon.

Score: 8.7/10
Review Written By: James Shotwell

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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