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Stand Up - Everyday Sunday (2002)

Is "radio-friendly" a good thing? On one hand, it's a compliment because it implies that everyone will at least be able to tolerate it, and most will probably love it. On the other hand, it usually means a very "safe" form of music. It never stretches any boundaries and never attempts to invent something new; it is satisfied to rehash old cliches and recycle old chord progressions. Either way, Everyday Sunday is the poster band for "radio-friendly."

Most of the songs on this album fall into the pistachio pudding of the grossly average. "Would You Leave" is the worst song of Stand Up in terms of lyrics: "Would You still love me every time I'm down? / Would You help me up and put my all into You? / Because I want to do what You want me to do / ...He will never leave you." Frontman Trey Pearson and Chad Hines (brother of drummer Chris Hines) wrote this song that is so chock-full of stale sentiments that they even changed tenses just to tag another one on the end. "Wait" tries to pass as a rap/rock song and almost makes it. "Stand Up" is arguably the best of this album. It's a genuinely good song, very stolid, very simple, very sincere; a bit hackneyed, but forgivable. "Don't Leave" sounds very Dave Matthews-ish. Extremely so actually, with the recurring cliches: "Please don't leave / Please stay / Please don't go away / I just want to see you a whole new way."

Another year or so in the indie realm would have done this band a world of good. It probably would have stretched their imaginations, and perhaps they would have realized that there are better ways to write a song than just parroting common precepts. Now that they have been signed and garnered a load of bubblegum fans, what could motivate them to be innovative? They've produced an album of fluff, and it will do very well. Perhaps hope is not lost for Everyday Sunday...Maybe they will learn after all. Even if they don't, Stand Up probably won't be the last album from these guys. Let's see how they do down the road.