For the past decade, FEARLESS RECORDS has been pumping out new installments of their PUNK GOES… series with consistency. I’ve long held a special place in my heart for the series which I documented back in April with a special feature entitled PUNK GOES… again: 10 Years of FEARLESS RECORDS’ PUNK GOES… Series. In that I offered up my thoughts on the 8 albums previously released, followed later that month by my review of album #9, PUNK GOES CLASSIC ROCK. Now to close out 2010, Fearless has issues PUNK GOES POP Volume 3, the second sequel to their 2002 “POP” release. How does it stand among others in the series? Let’s take a look with some brief thoughts on each track…
1. Breathe Carolina – “Down”
(originally recorded by Jay Sean ft. Lil Wayne)
2. Woe, Is Me – “Hot ‘N Cold”
(originally recorded by Katy Perry)
3. Artist Vs Poet – “Bad Romance”
(originally recorded by Lady GaGa)
4. Mayday Parade – “In My Head”
(originally recorded by Jason Derülo)
Honestly, I don’t think that I’ve ever heard Jason Derulo’s original track. That said, this one feels like a Mayday Parade track. The vibe reminds me a lot of when The Starting Line took on J.Lo and Ja Rule with “I’m Real.”
5. Asking Alexandria – “Right Now (Na Na Na)”
(originally recorded by Akon)
6. This Century – “Paper Planes”
(originally recorded by M.I.A.)
7. The Word Alive – “Heartless”
(originally recorded by Kanye West)
8. Family Force 5 – “Bulletproof”
(originally recorded by La Roux)
If you’re already a fan of the duo known as La Roux, you won’t notice a drastic departure between the original track and this one, aside for the gender-swap on the vocals. The chorus is a tad harder, but as a whole this song is about a true as it gets. One of my favorites on the album.
9. Of Mice & Men – “Blame It”
(originally recorded by Jamie Foxx ft. T-Pain)
As much as I respect Jamie Foxx as an artist and performer, I’ve always hated “Blame It.” Of Mice and Men brings the noise on their version, making the song almost listenable. Not their fault, but I’d still skip this one.
10. Miss May I – “Run This Town”
(originally recorded by Jay-Z ft. Kanye West and Rihanna)
11. The Ready Set – “Airplanes”
(originally recorded by B.o.B ft. Hayley Williams)
12. Cute Is What We Aim For – “Dead And Gone”
(originally recorded by T.I. ft. Justin Timberlake)
A surprisingly sincere cover, Cute is What We Aim For has taken the original song and made it their own. With it’s acoustic guitar-driven sound, the vocal trade-offs sound authentic, making this a highlight of the album.
13. Sparks The Rescue – “Need You Now”
(originally recorded by Lady Antebellum)
It’s almost a running joke around these parts that I’ve never actually heard a Lady Antebellum song. Aside from their name (which I don’t like for some reason), I’ve miraculously been able to escape this band. No real reason, not like I’ve been avoiding them, but I’ve just never had them enter my ears. As far as I can tell here, “Need You Now” could’ve easily been a Sparks The Rescue original.
14. We Came As Romans – “My Love”
(originally recorded by Justin Timberlake ft. T.I.)
We Came As Romans appears to be fully entering the realm of “mockery” with their take on Justin Timberlake’s “My Love.” Heavy, yes. Entertaining? Not really.
With a tracklisting that is more currently relevant that the second installment, PUNK GOES POP 3 captures some of the lightning that was there for the first volume – striking the current pulse of pop music with a mix of songs paying tribute to the source material combined with those obviously intended to mock and poke fun. The end result is an album that stands as a great novelty for those into creative cover songs, and a piece sure to incite conversation at weekend parties. While it doesn’t live up to the first album, it’s a substantial step forward from Vol. 2.