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Leaving Through the Window

Something Corporate

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Album Review

Over the years, Orange County (the suburban California county that's south of Los Angeles and north of San Diego) has often been the butt of jokes among L.A. residents; the Beverly Hills/Santa Monica/West Hollywood crowd has even been known to call Orange County "Behind the Orange Curtain," which is sort of like Manhattan residents having a laugh at New Jersey's expense. But all those "Orange Curtain" jokes don't erase the fact that Orange County has, in the alternative rock era, given the world some impressive bands, ranging from No Doubt to Nice to Under the Starry Sky. Another noteworthy Orange County act is Something Corporate, which brings strong power pop instincts to this debut album, Leaving Through the Window.

These Southern Californians favor a style of alternative pop/rock that's punky yet vulnerable and introspective, with frontman Andrew McMahon anchoring many songs on his weathered upright piano. Given the band's reliance on his flourishes and double-fisted piano pounds, Something Corporate isn't just another emocore band in the blink-182/Fenix TX/A New Found Glory/Sloppy Meateaters vein; truth be told, the guys have more in common with Jimmy Eat World. Something Corporate has enough of a punky, bratty element to appeal to punk-pop and emo tastes, but the group also has a strong love of melody and a sense of craftsmanship that probably was — as lead singer/pianist Andrew McMahon insists — influenced to some degree by singer/songwriters like Billy Joel and Elton John. At times, the band's power pop instincts also bring to mind Cheap Trick, although Something Corporate's lyrics are much more melancholy (and, during songs like "If You C Jordan" and "Drunk Girl," very indebted to the high school experience). Whomever one chooses to compare Something Corporate to, Leaving Through the Window is among the more memorable and promising alterna-rock efforts of 2002.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Orange County, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Of the myriad young alt-rock bands to arise in the early 2000s, Something Corporate stood out with their piano-fueled songcraft and crossover potential. On one hand, the bandmembers were barely out of high school when Drive-Thru Records signed them, which helped Something Corporate connect with a large audience of West Coast teenage hipsters looking for a band to claim as their own. On the other hand, the band didn't play punk rock; they played polished, literate, radio-ready alt-rock — a marketable...
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Leaving Through the Window, Something Corporate
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