McFly - Room On The 3rd Floor

Where does the McFly story start? Does it start way back with the Monkees when the first manufactured boy band came to prominence? Does it start when they moved into the Room on the 3rd Floor or does it start when Tom didn't quite make it into Busted? The truth is it all started when a now relatively unknown 3 piece called the Dum Dums (Link: perfected the pop punk sound on the album "It Goes Without Saying". The Dum Dums were asked on Robbie Williams 21 date arena tour and then split 9 months later after the record company let them go. Still the blueprint was in place and just a few months later another 3 piece came along known as Busted and the rest as they day is history. For those who are interested two members of Dum Dums recently resurfaced in the indie pop band Clarkesville.

"Room On The 3rd Floor" is an album bristling with pop hooks from the likes of the Beatles and The Beach Boys. The album written in the main by McFly's Tom Fletcher and Busted's James Bourne proves potentially pop's greatest writing partnership in the past 20 years. With an instant knack for the familiar the songs are instant, yet never derivative ala Noel Gallagher. Lyrically the album follows the classic tales of boy wants girl, boy loses girl, boy tries to get back and is jealous of her boyfriend. Classic lyrical themes, but ones that we never tire of and they still provide the inspiration for the best pop tunes. "Down By The Lake" is perhaps the greatest tribute to Brian Wilson's pure pop phase that he could ever wish for. While many bands such as the Boo Radleys and the High Llamas have tried to emulate his Pet Sounds phase, McFly consciously emulate "Surfin USA".  Sadly at times their knack for writing authentic pop classics sometimes falters and in the case of "She Left Me", a song which sounds like The Bay City Rollers rewriting "Puppy Love" for the noughties, it really is a moment i'm sure in time to come they'd rather forget.

The albums title track "Room On The 3rd Floor" tells the tale of the band coming together in the same grotty flat that Busted started out in the early days. It's one of those classic themes that indie bands normally approach on their second album, but McFly have got it out of the way early and as the song ends on with euphoric na na na's ala "Hey Jude" you realize that now the serious moment is out of the way they can get on with the rest of their life's. The bands other frontman Danny Jones takes the lead of "Not Alone". A ballad which may just become the bands "3AM" moment where the public start to see them as more than just another pop band. While its the Beates and the Beach Boys providing the inspiration on much of the album, "Hypnotized" takes props from Simon & Garfunkel with lightly picked guitars and lush harmonies. If you're going to take from someone you might as well take from the best.

Although McFly will be the first to admit they're just a pop band, they provide a much more interesting proposition that the choreographed boy bands of old. The problem is of course that while Busted and McFly took their nucleus from an underground indie band and their songs from the likes of the Beatles and The Beach Boys, how long is it going to be before we get watered down versions of McFly who have their songs written by fifty year old men in suits. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Alex McCann

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