Washed Away - Rooney
By Benjamin Irons
Since the release of 2010’s Eureka, power-pop sensation Rooney, now chaperoned by founder Robert Schwartzman, have broken a six-year silence with the release of a fourth studio album, Washed Away, coinciding with the announcement of a completely new line-up of session musicians, including Taylor Johnson (guitar) and Joel Plotnik (drums).
In an attempt to bring back that sunny, early 2000’s indie-rock Rooney that most are accustomed to, Schartzman seeks to explore more palatable pastures of radiant pop – synth-led opener "All The Beautiful People" illustrates this statement in true technicolour. Lead single "My Heart Beats 4 U" channels that laggard riff from the anthem of 2005, "Beverly Hills", by indie-rock artists Weezer – a band that Rooney have been seemingly overshadowed by since their forming in 1999. Nevertheless, a catchy beat. Radio-friendly "Why" balances a vocal duet from Schartzman and Soko - a singer-songwriter from Bordeaux, France – but fails to establish itself as a product of veteran musicianship, rather a sophomore effort. That isn’t to say that it’s not a good song, just not something you’d expect from a group who’ve been writing material since the dawn of the new millennium, never mind the six-year hiatus. Although it must be made clear that Schartzman has written, produced and performed nearly all twelve tracks on the album., so we should cut him a little slack.
Pressing on, "Do You Have To Go" has a rocky hook fit enough for a slot in your summer pool-party playlist, with "Love Me Like There’s No Tomorrow" serenading a rather mopish love song. Rooney’s 60’s comparisons are evidently drawn on "I Miss You When You’re Gone", with a culmination of cheery guitar and pop-rock nostalgia laying the foundations. "Sad But True" however is a ballad of underground noir fusing melancholy piano with spacey guitar to croon a rather fitting metaphor for the lonesome destination in which Schartzman has guided Rooney and Washed Away alike into. Washed Away is available to buy now via Superball Music.
*this post originally featured on GIGsoup