PYT: PYT (Down With Me) Album Review

PYT: PYT (Down With Me) Album Review

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Score: 59/100

Top 3 Tracks: Same Ol’ Same Ol’, Sweet Kisses, Deep Down

Who’s Lovin’ Me: 7/10

A cover and reinterpretation of the Jackson 5 hit, Who’s Lovin’ You, the song showcases what the girls are best at and why they got a record deal in the first place — harmonizing. Their voices blend so smoothly and Ashley’s lead vocal is a stand-out, though she tends to sound Mandy Moore-esque on certain phrasings throughout the album.

Same Ol’ Same Ol’: 9/10

The title is correct, in that it runs the gamut of the same old teen pop productions, but for me, I enjoy this edgier pop bop. And apparently, the producers were really counting on this song being a smash because it’s included two more times on the album — once with a complete Sarai rap and the other as the “album” version that feels a little more watered down. The first version on the album, the “remix” version, is the best, giving more energy to the track with a definitive hip-hop flair.

Yeah Yeah Yeah: 5/10

This feels very Destiny’s Child-lite, but with more Kids Bop annoyance to it. The repetitiveness of the chorus and the instrumental are wearing. The rapid fire verses are good, but get bogged down by laughable lyrics like — “Still bringin’ her around/Wanna drive my ride all over town/Actin’ like I’ve never been down/Boy, you gon’ make me wanna clown.” It just doesn’t feel like words any teenage girl would say.

Weak: 6/10

Continuing in the urban/R&B side of pop, the girls croon over a start-and-stop blippy instrumental about falling in love with a boy. Their harmonies sound well on the track, but it adds nothing new for them.

Simple Things: 5/10

The first ballad on the album, I like the bridge of “Don’t look back/Just go for what’s ahead of you” and the post chorus of “Never gonna get my sympathy.” However, I’m not a big fan of the spoken word in the verses, especially when they’re having to say some really trite and simplistic lyrics like “Never gonna make it/If you’re gonna fake it” and “We started as lovers with devotion and love/But now the china’s broken, life’s tough.”

Side note: I never liked that the title is called Simple Things, while the lyrics only say simple thing.

PYT (Down With Me): 6/10

A lot of this song I like and a lot of this song is cringe-worthy. First off, it’s weird for a pop group to have an “anthem” — especially a brand-new act, and when that song is about how girls are being mean to them because they’re in a famous band, well — it’s the sort of deluded arrogance you see in teenage girls. So I guess in that sense, it works, but in a silly way. There’s attitude to be sure, but the girls don’t sell it as much as they could. The backup vocals even seemed bored with it eventually.

I Like The Way (The Kissing Game): 7/10

I really like the retro-90’s vibe for the song and it feels a little En Vogue-esque. It’s also age-appropriate for early teen girls to be singing cute little lyrics about “liking the way you kiss me when we play the kissing game.” But it doesn’t stand out too much for me for some reason. I always forget this song is on the album, and Ashley just sounds uncomfortable singing on the verses.

Ain’t No Ifs, Ands or Buts About It: 2/10

That title. You just look at that title for a minute and tell me this song is good. It’s not. It’s about what you’d expect. Not only does it take every pop sound effect on a producers sound board and chop them to a melody, but it also creates the most uncomfortable feeling when the girls — no older than 15 — sing about how they know that they’re young, but they understand men and what they need.

You Don’t Know: 6/10

This track has a cool Timbaland vibe that would have had a much sexier vibe if it had been recorded by Aaliyah or even Janet Jackson. The girls do decent, but can’t really pull off what a more mature singer would have been able to do with the material. And lyrics like “So I take a star and shine it onto my heart/So you can see my love” should have been scrapped entirely.

Sweet Kisses: 8/10

This cute little bubblegum folk pop song may feel like a Mandy Moore cast off, but at least the girls feel a little more at home on this lighthearted track than the previous few. It’s cheesy, but at least it’s age appropriate and they sound more confident and fun on it.

Call Me Anytime: 6/10

Because the early 2000’s needs to constantly remind you of the cool technology they had, here’s a song that incoroporates a beeper jingle into the melody, plus references like “seen your album on the Billboard, your videos on TRL” and “hit me one more time.” I like the pre-chorus and the subtle Latin influences, but the chorus gets dull on repeat listens.

Deep Down: 7/10

I like the attitude of the song, and even though it’s clearly a Britney copycat, the girls at least sell it, Ashley in particular. She adds that extra oomph and darkness in her lower register to make the track sound convincing. It’s typical teen pop fare.

A Girl Can Dream: 7/10

Another sugary sweet pop ballad. The girls sound more their age and the genre fits their voices more. Again, cheesy, but not bad.

Conclusion:

I like that PYT went for a more hip-hop/urban edge to their pop sound that set them apart from other pure sugar pop fluff groups like No Secrets. They go for a more Destiny’s Child-lite vibe. The problem is the disconnect of that sound with their image. Look at this cover.

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And this one:

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Those are boring covers. The blonde on the right has completely checked out by this point. The album and videos do not adequately showcase a group that has the attitude or maturity to back-up catty hip-hop songs like “Same Ol’ Same Ol’,” “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” and “PYT (Down With Me)” or sexualized pop like “Weak,” “Ain’t No Ifs” or “You Don’t Know.” They don’t even have the maturity to back up the first thing people think of when they hear the name PYT (Pretty Young Thing, by Michael Jackson), which just makes them uncomfortable. The group borders on a  line where they’re too edgy for girls who thought they would be more No Secrets, A*Teens and early Mandy Moore, but image-wise, they don’t pack enough punch or are too young for those who like Destiny’s Child, Aaliyah or Nivea. Maybe if they had been given enough time to mature, they could have developed their sound and image, and they could have been more successful.

Or at least stopped looking like Saved By The Bell extras.

Or at least stopped looking like Saved By The Bell extras.

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