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Album review: Hot Chelle Rae's 'Whatever'

November 29, 2011 |  7:00 am

 Album Review: Hot Chelle Rae's 'Whatever'

Have you looked at today’s mall-punk scene and thought “Hmm, what this subculture really needs is its own Jimmy Buffet?” Meet Hot Chelle Rae, the quartet of Nashville music-biz scions who are responsible for the fact that right now you are singing their ubiquitous piano-skeeze single “Tonight Tonight.”

Suburban kids need decadent, parents-on-vacation house-party bangers, but where something like Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.” had a bit of storytelling in its youthful hedonism, “Whatever” just feels smug. Singer Ryan Keith Follese’s nasal catcalling makes references to girls being “California dimes” feel creepy. Product placements for iPhones and Skype abound, while the title track suggests to those with crushing student debt that “Hey, hey, life ain’t fair.” You have to ask if the tween sector of the 1% just found their house band.

Hot Chelle Rae



One star (Out of four)


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--August Brown