3rd Faze: Album Review

3rd Faze: 3rd Faze Album Review

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Score: 55/100

Top 3 Tracks: Go Slow, Throw the Roses, Go for It

 

Shy: 7/10

Released as the lead single, Shy showcased 3rd Faze as that weird anomaly of being a white girl group with Destiny’s Child/3LW type beats. The song is simple, not really all that bad and fit in with the pop landscape of 2001, though it certainly wouldn’t have stood out. The problem is the vocals, which are light and breathy over such a funky beat. The singers, especially the lead vocalist here who has such a nasally tone, don’t have the vocal power to back up this type of song. They sound like the shy ones.

World of Make-Believe: 8/10

More straight teen pop about a breakup and wanting to get back together. This song works a bit better in that the vocals are stronger, especially in that last chorus.

If Ever You Feel the Need: 6/10

The first ballad on the album and it features a nice guitar riff throughout it. Lyrically, it’s a continuation of World of Make-Believe where a couple has broken up, but one wishes to continue the relationship. It’s sentimental and cheesy and pretty middle-of-the-road with the usual lyrical uses of rain falling, I will be there for you’s, wishing on falling stars, dreams etc. It definitely shows the lead’s nasal tone, which I’m not very fond of, but that build-up in the bridge is really nice.

Over You: 5/10

Most of the album is made up of a number of forgettable R&B style songs like this one that have barely indistinguishable instrumentals and melodies and are all padded to reach the 3:00 mark. Whereas in the last two songs, the singer wished to restart a relationship, here when the other one wishes to, she kicks him to the curb. The pre-chorus is good, but the chorus itself never goes anywhere and some lyric choices are iffy in both set-up and rhyming, the second verse in particular. It’s a testament to how mediocre the album is when if a track like this had been on a bigger singer’s album, it would have been way lower on the tracklist.

Go Slow: 8/10

One of the few fun tracks on the album.The sound effect laden instrumental could grate on nerves if the song was any longer and that scraping sound can be cringe-inducing, like nails on a chalkboard. But it’s fun pop, at least, something that a teen pop album needs. It also sets up the group as vaguely Christian with the lyric — “I see temptation in my eye/Have God in my heart/So in mind/” That rap verse though is —

 

Chameleon: 6/10

Though it has a great strings and piano instrumental, I still place it in the category of Over You in that not much else is very memorable about this R&B track. At times, the strings, piano plus the breathy vocals and the staccato beat all clash with each other to form a near indecipherable mess. I would have loved to hear just the harmonized vocals over a sparse instrumental on the chorus somewhere after the bridge — at least for a little longer than we get. It’s a song that had potential.

Not Like Her: 5/10

Re: Over You, but this one adds those disc skips at the end of a measure. About comparing to an ex, the chorus sounds like Chameleon and the song clearly is done with itself before the 3:00 mark. The saving grace of it is the bridge that injects some attitude into a track that just falls flat.

Throw the Roses: 9/10

I love this song. The girls sound more confident and the country influence shows that maybe that’s the market they should have been aiming for — like a Dixie Chicks/SheDaisy teen pop group.

They Don’t Know You: 5/10

Same as Over You and Not Like Her. The instrumental may be slicked and trumped up, but the phrasing on verses feels so awkward and there’s not much going for it. It really is just boring.

How Can You Tell: 8/10

Probably my favorite of the longer-than-necessary-overly-boring R&B-lite songs, but it may just be because it was one of the few songs I’ve seen them perform. Vocals are strong, commanding and confident, the instrumental isn’t overdone and the chorus is fun and catchy. It suffers from some pretty awkward lyrics though — “While I was playing hard to get/Like Romeo and Juliet/” and “You’ll leave me never.” So I’m torn on the song. Can I give such a high grade with those lyrics?

Dance: 7/10

A relatively fun dance song, at least compared to other tracks. Like Shy, it incorporates a random male background singer and like They Don’t Know You and Over You, a disc skipping effect at the end of the measure. These additions don’t make a great dance song, but it at least tries a little harder.

 Boy You Gotta Go: 5/10

I almost forgot to write a review for this track, that’s how memorable it is. It’s also in the same vein as Not Like Her and Over You, but even the instrumental sounds too similar to other tracks. There’s no differentiation anymore. It’s all just blah.

Believe: 5/10

A nice little piano ballad that also feels vaguely Christian with ambiguous phrases of “if you believe in it, it will come true.” Whatever “it” is, I don’t know. It certainly feels like it could be gospel-influenced, but the vocals are so weak and listless here, that there’s no power or conviction behind the trite phrases.

Go For It: 7/10

Probably the most fun song on the album, honestly. It’s upbeat, catchy and has an earnestness to it. It gets you pumped just like the show wanted. I wish the whole album were more like this.

 

Conclusion:

The biggest problem with 3rd Faze is that as a group backed by a show that’s supposed to make exercising look super fun, they are super boring. The songs just lack that upbeat, even cheesy pop that was so popular. They should have built themselves as an S Club 7-type group with more songs about friendships, driving in cars, parties, going to the beach or at least having a good time, but most songs are about crappy relationships. Multiple tracks sound like different versions of the exact same song. None of them are awful, but they don’t feel light and airy like teen pop should, and they all seem like leftover demos from more popular acts. Basically, the group would have benefited more from what the industry was really selling — cheesiness.

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Or at least better stylists.

 

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