CD Review: Rooney

Calling the World

By Taylor Toothman |

Rooney is unabashedly infectious. That’s the only way to describe them. The five-man, indie-rock group from the sunny shores of California has struck musical gold yet again with their charming and energetic second album.

Calling the World isn’t too different than their self-titled debut, but Rooney has amped up their sound with blasting guitar riffs and synthesizers booming incredibly catchy melodies left and right. Many of their songs resemble bits and pieces of songs from legendary rock groups of the ’70s and ’80s, such as The Beach Boys with the chorus of their title song “Calling the World,” Electric Light Orchestra on “Are You Afraid?” or The Beatles with their ballad “Help Me Find My Way.” That just proves that they have good taste in inspiration. Here’s the lowdown on some of the highlights from their second attempt to show the world just how awesome they are.

“When Did Your Heart Go Missing?” is the second track, and if track one didn’t snatch you in to Rooney’s world, this will. Bursting with oomph and attitude toward snooty, heartless girls, this song will have you examining your own heart while you boogie down the sidewalk.

As soon as I heard the explosive beginning chords of the third track, “I Should’ve Been After You,” I knew it was destined to be my favorite. Reminiscent of Styx’s “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man),” it is chock-full of pumping, head-banging beats. And although he admits to being a rampant ladies man, Robert Schwartzman realizes that he never got the one girl he wanted. Aw.

Track 10, “All In Your Head,” is definitively an ’80s throwback, and I love it. The lyrics are completely cruel and stabbing: “What did you expect/well I told you from the start/that I’m not your boyfriend […] All the hope/all the pain/it’s all in your head,” but so darn catchy that I just have to overlook them. Robert Schwartzman cannot be my boyfriend any time.

Rounding off the album is Rooney’s only true ballad, “Help Me Find My Way.” Wrenching lyrics like, “I’ve tried my best to finish where you left off/who am I supposed to trust” set to a somber string and piano arrangement, leaves the listener feeling sorry for poor Robert, but maybe he shouldn’t have been so mean to that girl from track 10.

This album is Rooney at the best we’ve seen them, and let’s hope that it’s not another four years before they grace us with another set of incredible tunes.

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