Dear Diary review by FM Static

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  • Released: Apr 7, 2009
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.3 (19 votes)
FM Static: Dear Diary
4

Sound — 7
Started as a two man side project by Christian Rock band Thousand Foot Krutch's frontman Trevor McNevan and sticksman Steve Augustine, pop punk advocating FM Static are back with album number three, Dear Diary. Signed to trusty Christian Punk label Tooth & Nail Records, FM Static's Dear Diary is, according to McNevan, a concept record based on a boy (and occasionally a girl) and their diary entries. Although Trevor may be a little too old to still be writing about High School and first loves, it is somewhat comforting to know that he has stuck to his guns to write more of the same catchy-as-hell songs about growing up. And I'm sure that although most of his 'fans' may now probably be either in their late teens or mid 20s to 30s, listening to this record will be a somewhat nostalgic but warranted walk down ol' memory lane. The album kicks off at pace with the track 'Boy Moves To A New Town With Optimistic Outlook'. Complete with quick palm muted guitars, McNevan's trademark trigger-happy and fast-spewing lyrics, plus a soaring chorus which boasts of a somewhat rocked up High School Musical tune, the first track is classic-ly what you would come to expect of FM Static. Dotted around the record are other fresh, gem-tastic tunes such as fifth track 'Man Watcha Doin? ', 'The Voyager of Beliefs' which features Tricia Brock the frontwoman of Rock band Superchick, and the dazzling piano ballad 'Dear God'. All that being said, there are some very average pop punk tracks on the record which you will most likely want to skip straight to the choruses on.

Lyrics — 5
Lyrically the album is what you would expect from any pop punk record: average rhyme schemes with a slight tinge of emo cringe thrown in for good measure. Simple and novice seem to be the order of the day as McNevan sings She moves just like a rocket; shooting through the sky just to make you watch it; and fireworks go off whenever she comes my way on track 'Boy Meets Girl (And Vice Versa)', and And I've been thinkin' about; how I could scream it out loud; or paint a picture somehow; a thousand miles long.. on track 'Sometimes You Can Forget Who You Are'. That being said the singing and the tunes are catchy and worthwhile which, to be honest, is the main focus with Pop Punk. McNevan's voice is bang up to standard on Dear Diary. On tracks such as 'Dear God' he shows off his talented vocal range, switching almost instantly to and fro the high notes most suited to a choral scholar, or a pre pubescent 13 year old virgin, and on 'Her Fathers Song' he shows how he can adjust his vocals to suit the mood of an emotional ballad.

Overall Impression — 7
It is pretty clear from the get go that Dear Diary follows in the same vein as Critically Ashamed and What Are You Waiting For?. And because I doubt that there will be many first time, newbie FM Static listeners tuning in to Dear Diary, I assume that most old fans will, among other reasons, have wanted more of the same. Thus the fact that McNevan and Augustine have stayed true to their sound will see a pleasant sigh of relief from most listeners. Therefore, the main question is whether or not Dear Diary lives up to the sugary pop, foot stomping, happy go lucky, beach partying ambiance of the two previous FM Static albums. Well the answer to this is yes and no. With the first couple of listens, the album seems to be chock full of sing-a-long tunes so sugary you'd bet on your teeth disintegrating. However, after a couple more plays, you start to realise that the album is a little more 'emo' than the other two. There are darker songs on exhibition. Soul searching songs. Songs that lend themselves more to the finding of answers. All in all, the album is a little more serious. Ironically, although the album may be a return to youth in that it is a concept record following the details of a high school boy, it also seems to be the metamorphic album that signifies the maturing of FM Static. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, who knows. But as long as the boys can churn out quality tracks such as 'Man Watcha Doin?' and 'The Shindig (Off To College)', then who really cares?

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Photograph
    Wow thats ironic that this album is on the front of UG because I just picked this up randomly thinking no one would know them lol. Anyway its a good fair review, well done. It's an average album.
    Ellbehbs
    fm statics dear diary is exactly what the reviewer said it was this review was really helpful and the reviewer was great thank you Adam Webb
    obgem
    Fm Static? More like Fm Autistic, hewew. . . Two of their uber popular songs bug me for each day that passes. I hope this album isnt worse.
    sneffers
    I agree with photograph, this is very interesting to see them on the front page of ultimate guitar. They're a good Christian band and I didn't expect UG to write about them.
    mdclay
    I think that this CD is the bomb. I'm a huge fan of Trevor's voice and this album explores his talent very well.
    gr1170
    mdclay wrote: I think that this CD is the bomb. I'm a huge fan of Trevor's voice and this album explores his talent very well.
    Yea, his talent to repackage the same songs again and again. Take a listen to all the FM Static stuff, all the TFK stuff and all of Hawk Nelson stuff. And those are just what I know he has written the music for. It's all the same songs.
    inferi596
    i like the album. i was afraid that this high-school love story was gonna be a "fast times at barrington high" flop directed soley at high school girls but it wasn't and the story has a lot more to it than just that. good review, it definitely has some catchy songs but some deeper serious ones as well that i think hit home with changes in your life both physically, emotionally, & spiritually. i give it two thumbs up.
    GuitarUltimate?
    I've never really been able to get into these guys and this album is no exception. The occational song is okay, but I'd rather just buy all the TFK albums.
    jxmxaxn
    Great album. My personal favorite is still Critically Ashamed but thats just me.
    TheOrangeRift
    Here's my opinions. This is FM Static's best album by far. The first two albums were nice and sugary for all those happy moments in life, but what they lack in substance this fresh album makes up for in heaps of it. At least for me it did, because I can relate a lot to the songs. If you are out of college and a working man, you probably won't feel the songs the way I do. Honestly I'm glad FM Static made this album. The songs are very uplifting and motivational.