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Calling the World (Remastered)

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Album Review

Four years passed between Rooney's self-titled debut and its follow-up, Calling the World — virtually a lifetime when it comes to many listeners' attention spans. The band spent that time recording and scrapping two albums' worth of material and dealing with label problems; while waiting so long to release new music was a risky move, it probably wasn't as risky as releasing music they didn't believe in completely. As it turns out, Calling the World is a pretty safe bet. Musically speaking, nothing has changed drastically in the band's world since its debut: they still write boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, and boy-gets-over-girl songs, and they still have a knack for loading those songs with plenty of hooks, harmonies, and catchy melodies, all of which are especially apparent on "When Did Your Heart Go Missing?" and the feisty "Don't Come Around Again." However, Calling the World's songs aren't quite as sunny and innocent as Rooney's were. "Are You Afraid?" drives its question home with bombastic, claustrophobic keyboards and paranoid android backing vocals; "All in Your Head"'s insistence that a relationship is purely fictional is almost as cruel as it is catchy. Rooney also update their sound by expanding their influences by a few years, and at times, Calling the World feels like a collection of lost singles from the late '70s and early '80s: "I Should've Been After You"'s guitar heroics, lush buildups, and big harmonies take a page from Queen's playbook, and "Tell Me Soon" feels like a less quirky update of ELO's orchestral pop. Later, "Love Me or Leave Me"'s airy synths and "Paralyzed"'s chunky rhythms nod to new wave and straight-ahead '80s pop/rock. As faithfully as Rooney re-create these sounds on Calling the World, it sometimes feels like the band doesn't bring enough of its own identity to these songs. "What For" is an exception: yes, its limpid guitar lines and pianos can trace their lineage to George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, but the song's genuinely sweet sentiments make it one of the album's most unique songs. Calling the World might not be radically inventive, but its solid songcraft and playful shout-outs to rock history are a lot of fun.

Customer Reviews

four long years

Sure we had to wait four years for the sophomore release but all 4 years were worth it trust all the song are as catchy as the first album and they even found a way to sound fresh without changing to much the style that we grown to love

What happened?!

Ok, so I havent really listened hard to the album- keep reading though! I've never written a review before, but I was so disappointed with Rooney's second CD that I decided to. Their self-titled debut was catchy enough for the O.C; but "I'm Shaking" was in no way their best song. Less commercial tracks such as "Blue Side" and "Daisy Duke" showed some cynical lyrics coupled with an easy going rock-pop that somehow got cheese-ified on 'Calling the World'. My advice is to download their earlier songs, pre-record deal (look for 'Deli Meats'), keep listening to the first CD, and wait another 4 years for a hopeful return to form. I mean, these guys did "Death on Two Legs" by Queen! This does not match up.

music and lyriks

This new Rooney album sounds old school 80's style, it makes me yearn for their first album and hope they can do better next time around. Though the songs are catchy they have a Tom Jones/ Carlton banks feel which is not appreciated.


Formed: 2000 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

California rock band Rooney emerged in 2002, making their live debut warming up for Phantom Planet, a more experienced L.A.-based group who shared similar classic pop influences (E.L.O., the Beach Boys) along with a family member. The younger brother of actor and former Phantom Planet drummer Jason Schwartzman, Rooney maestro Robert Schwartzman was also a son of Hollywood who had dabbled in acting, but by the early 2000's had turned his full attention to crafting pleasantly retro guitar pop. By the...
Full bio
Calling the World (Remastered), Rooney
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