Best of 2016 Playlist

January 30, 2016

The Summer Set - "Figure Me Out" Single Review

The Summer Set have returned, and are set to release their 4th album, "Stories for Monday" April 1st! The album's lead single, "Figure Me Out" dropped last week, and it's definitely one to listen to. If letting you know that the song has the official Luke Hemmings stamp of approval, then there's another reason to listen. 

To preorder their album, and instantly get their new single, click the following (link)

After several listens to the song, a number of you listeners are probably thinking, "Haven't I heard this somewhere before?" And you'd be right, because you HAVE heard this song before. But before we address those issues, let's take a step back and just look at the song overall.

The opening verse has one of the best lines ever written, "I'm a bit too pop for the punk kids, but I'm too punk for the pop kids. I don't know just where I fit in." That pretty much sums up the band. Their earlier records displayed more punk in their pop punk. But in recent years the band has developed into a full blown pop group (like The Maine and We the Kings). The lead single from "Legendary", "Boomerang" was much more fun and energetic than this. But at the same time, this song has more meaning, and fans will find more to relate to. 

Dales gives one of his strongest, if not the strongest, vocal performances, showing off his range and abilities. This is the first song where he hasn't just given a cute, somewhat cheesy, pop vocal performance set to some filler pop song. He's really putting himself into the song, and it pays off. 

Unfortunately all the great writing and musicianship that went into the song can be overshadowed by the fact that TSS have seeming ripped off two different artists. Fans are more likely to hear similarities between "Figure Me Out" and One Direction's song, "Best Song Ever". But a few of you may recall a certain song by The Who (and if you don't know that band we can't help you). 

"Baba O'Reilly" (or "Teenage Wasteland" if you prefer), the opening track from The Who's 5th album was released all the way back in the 1970s. In an interview frontman Brian Dales said he, "...wrote this song alone on the piano in the house I grew up in." So either this song is the biggest coincidence in the world, or Dales is lying. Even then, when they went to record the track no one thought, "Hey this kinda sounds like (insert song here), maybe we should change a few things?" At the very least, someone must have recognized the melody and suggested a few changes. And if no one did, and everyone involved remained ignorant the entire time TSS recorded the song, we will applaud your stupidity. 

We'd really hate to think the band/writers new what they were doing, and just straight copied the song. But it has happened before, and will surely happen again. Which is a shame since TSS have done a good job of writing interesting songs in the past. All the emotions and weight in this song can't make up for the plagiarism, however unintentional. 

Summary -
If you can look past the similarities between "Figure Me Out", "Best Song Ever" and "Baba O'Reilly" then you'll love this track. But if you can't, then we totally understand since we still hear "I don't need to fight. To prove I'm right. I don't need to be forgiven." when the intro starts. Sure bands reuse chord progressions and melodies from other artists. However, most are usually a bit more discreet or courteous in how they go about it. The Summer Set don't even do a subtle nod, or claim that the song is a homage. They just put the song out there, and, what?, hoped no one would notice that their lead single sounds exactly like another song. And a Who song. That's the next worse thing after copying the Beatles. 

Rating - 6.5/10