You just can’t get away from sister acts these days. There’s Toronto’s Tegan and Sara, whose third album So Jealous raised more than a few critic’s eyebrows in 2005. And who could forget the DuPree sisters from Texas who make up the delightfully guilty pleasure that is Eisley? Riding on the coattails of the same popular sister streak come Meg and Dia, Korean-American sisters, aged 21 and 19 respectively, from Salt Lake City via Las Vegas. On their debut, Something Real, the sibling duo combine a predictable pop formula with the same type of over-produced, garden variety posturing you’ll probably spot on TRL faster than you can say “Carson Daly.”
Being produced by Stacy Jones of American Hi-Fi isn’t a credit most serious independent artists would want to have on the liner notes of their debut album, but Something Real encapsulates the type of Top 40 predictability that’s sure to appeal to tweens and budding teenagers who gobble this stuff up like candy. But at least the girls write all the songs by themselves, which is more than you can say for Ashley Simpson or Hillary Duff. Even if they are clichéd, angst-ridden outpourings, Meg and Dia can still say they did it themselves, which, regardless of how boring it is, is saying something. As a piece of music, Something Real is a safe alternative to the aforementioned corporate darlings, but anyone over the age of 14 probably won’t be all that impressed.
Most of the songs blend seamlessly into one another, but not in a visionary, Dark Side of The Moon way, but more of an all-these-songs-sound-almost-exactly-the-same way. You’ll find plenty of power chords, all sounding unsurprisingly like contemporaries Yellowcard, Fall Out Boy, insert name of exact same band with different name here, etc. What you won’t find is anything remotely resembling an original musical idea, which sad to say, is all too common for the Top 40 market. But I could complain about the corporate music giants and their marketing strategies all day long, so I digress.
There’s little doubt that Meg and Dia Frampton (I know, ironic isn’t it) can find a market for their formulated pop music. The Myspace circuits will buzz, and before long, they’ll be assaulted by pre-pubescent fans screaming that they understand just how they’re feeling inside. In the meantime, I think I’ll throw on something a little more rewarding, like Tegan and Sara, or maybe, as long as its just between you and me, some Room Noises.