Before listening to Sirens, the new album by The Weepies, it’s important that you have some mouthwash, toothpaste and a toothbrush on hand. This is perhaps the most saccharine, candy sweet album out there right now and repeated listens will leave you with more cavities than you can count. It also might help to wear some soft gloves so that you don’t hurt your face too much smacking your forehead after each homogeneously cloying track skips into the next.
You’ve all heard of “Dad Rock” – rock played by older men in loose stone wash jeans, acting out the lifestyle but returning to their suburban homes after the show. Well, this album is “Mom Rock.” There’s no play acting here, no contrived attempt at rock and roll. No, this is the kind of music that your mother hears on the radio that causes her to sigh, “Oh, isn’t this nice.” (Apologies to any mothers out there that are way cooler than this.)
Perhaps this album was born out of a puritanical reaction to John Mayer, a musician who is also a bit sappy in his own right, although at the end of the day the guy is a great musician. “He’s too crass” this hypothetical puritan might have said, “bring us something less offensive. Something like an adult Wiggles.” This is one explanation for Sirens.
Musically speaking, this album is all smiles and acoustic guitars. Three quarters of the tracks are in a major key, which means nothing unless you start to crave even the teensiest bit of darkness after hearing “Brand New Pair of Wings,” in which Deb Talan puts on a fake sounding southern twang backed by quarter note chord hits and soft, always soft, brush drumming.
Or maybe the goofy romantic comedy soundtrack song “Early Morning Riser” has you uncontrollably picturing the Teletubbies and their smiling baby sun god. The horns, meant to make the track more interesting no doubt, instead inspire only horror. What if The Weepies decide to make a New Orleans inspired album, something groups like this always seem to want to do? And, finally, there is the obligatory reference to gypsies — “You were a gypsy, I was once too” — on “Ever Said Goodbye” that every hokey love song seems compelled to include. If you haven’t noticed it yet, you’ll start to see it everywhere, and it is always lame. Hendrix’s “Gypsy Eyes” excluded, of course.
If, after reading this, you still feel compelled to pop on The Weepies, please heed the warning from the first paragraph. Or, better yet, instead of dental care, have some punk rock on hand for an emergency listen. Some Perfect Pussy or Iceage, anything to wash off the candy bath you’re about to take.