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Album review: Honor Society, 'Fashionably Late'

September 15, 2009 |  5:07 pm
Honor Product placement in pop music is at least as old as "My Adidas," but the way that the new Jonas Brothers-adjacent pop-rock quartet Honor Society does it on "Fashionably Late" is particularly wan. "I should have listened to that little voice inside my head / when I saw her in the study typin' on her Mac," they sing on "Why Didn't I," a chintzy bit of nu-soul as hot as a forgotten TV dinner.

It's a totally unnecessary status signifier, but a telling detail in the universe of Honor Society, a place where the first thing you notice about a girl is her gleaming new laptop.

The specter of Kevin, Nick and Joe Jonas casts a long shadow over Honor Society. There are faint differences between them -- in, say, the vaults of their fauxhawks and the patinas of their pocket squares. But Honor Society's electro-addled R&B claws even deeper at the bottom of that tween-pop barrel.

If the Jonases hadn't executive produced it, Honor Society would have to lawyer up for "Full Moon Crazy's" resemblance to "World War III." The acoustic lament "Goodnight My Love" will leave you scouring off the phantom scent of secondhand Drakkar Noir for days. "See U in the Dark" is passable emo fromage, but it only underscores how joyless this whole affair is.

-- August Brown

Honor Society
"Fashionably Late"
Hollywood Records
One and a half stars