Well, the teeny boys of MmmBop have grown up and are on their fourth album. Showing the signs of people having fun – snippets of studio chatter etc – the band are at pains in the promotional blurb to explain the good intentions of much of the lyrics and it shows. Sadly the good intentions are accompanied by music of the most excruciating blandness and it was a struggle to actually listen to the whole album in one sitting. It’s like they pressed a button in the studio that turned everything they did into USA standard-issue AOR rock radio. Having a choir of children behind your boy (man) band singing ‘rock and roll’ does not make your music any more than the anodyne hairless beast that it was when it started.

Hell, they even disappointed me by calling one song Fire On The Mountain. Having once had Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead guest with them (much to the disgust of the Dead’s fanbase), I’d thought the song might be a cover of The Grateful Dead’s polyrhythmic barnstormer but, no, it was an offensively pleasant and smooth ballad. The police could use this to force hostage-takers out of buildings if it weren’t that it’d count as cruel.

Ross McGibbon