Represent! The Up, Up, and Away! EP

Band: Represent!
Album: The Up Up & Away EP (2009)
Genre: Pop/Rock/Electro
Label: Unsigned

1. Dance! You’re Alive
2. This Is Our Time
3. Four Years
4. Don’t Wake Me Up (Acoustic)
5. Whenever I’m Near You
6. Up Up & Away
7. This Is Our Time (Acoustic)

Jared Kocka is the one-man band known as Represent!, and with over 40,000 myspace friends, and two other EP’s under his belt, I wanted to hear what all the buzz was about. The latest album is The Up Up & Away EP. From first glance you may not be sure what to expect from the plain and simple cover, and with my first listen to the Minnesota songwriter’s songs, I still wasn’t too certain I was impressed.

I couldn’t help but hear these tracks and think “The Secret Handshake, Rediscover, Hellogoodbye”; I’ve heard it all before. Don’t get me wrong – some of those artists are on my top albums list. I’m just wondering how many times we will be willing to listen to the same thing by ten different bands before getting fed up and going a little crazy.

I can never judge an album on first try so I gave Represent! a few more listens. Nothing about the album seemed too complex, but that doesn’t mean that the songs were not well written. The first track is “Dance! you’re alive”, which was a good track to start with in my opinion. It set people up for the mood of the whole album. He threw in some gang vocals before the second verse – that didn’t hurt either. If nothing else that usually has the listeners believing it will be a fun car ride sing-along!

Next followed “Four Years” and “This is our Time”. I especially enjoyed the second track “This is our Time “. The fourth song is an acoustic version of “Don’t Wake Me Up.” This song like much of the album stays light at heart. Using catchy, optimistic, lyrics and references to other top 40 songs with phrases like “She wore apple bottom jeans and the boots with the fur. Just kidding that wasn’t her” from Flow Rida’s song “Low”.

The fifth track picked up right where the fourth left off, making you want to dance. The sixth and seventh songs brought the album to an end with “Up Up and Away” the title of the album and another acoustic track, the unplugged version “This is our Time.”

Even if you’re not into this genre and a friend is dragging you to a Represent! show or to pop in the cd, you can’t deny the feeling to get up and dance when you do. Everyone can relate to the lyrics and even though it might not be the most original thing you have heard in ‘09 there is no doubt in my mind some of these songs will fit perfectly in your summer playlist. Up up and away definitely deserves a listen or two… or three.

*Written By: Brittney Reed*

James Shotwell
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