Album Review: Punk Goes Pop 5

Review by Sibel Kutlucan
Whilst many have argued about labels and band choices for the covers, Fearless Records has delivered another popular album in their Punk Goes Pop series. Released this month, Punk Goes Pop has delivered more interesting covers of hit songs such as Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” and Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend”.

Punk Goes Pop is a fun, light-hearted listen that promises some infectious beats, that whilst isn’t for everyone, still delivers some unique covers. This is one of those albums that will have varying views and opinions, some wondering whether the bands and artists are typically ‘punk’ or ‘pop’, however personally I thought some songs were better than others.

I was intrigued to listen to “Call Me Maybe”, as I hate to admit, but was crazily addicted to Carly Rae Jepson’s sweet, fun original. The cover by Upon This Dawning was a different approach with 80% of the song made up of screaming that lost the general appeal, however it still retained catchy elements of the original whilst bringing in their metalcore style. Personally, I thought it was a bit of a miss, with parts of the original song being unrecognisable and lost in the cover.

“Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye was a great song, before it was played and played and played, that you eventually wanted to shot someone if you heard it again. However, I was very pleased with the Mayday Parade and Vic Fuentes’ cover which didn’t let down the original, but changed it enough to incorporate elements of themselves and the infectious pop punk sounds into the hit. Mayday Parade and Vic Fuentes rejuvenated “Somebody That I Used To Know” and this was definitely the highlight of Punk Goes Pop 5 for me.

Some tracks stayed true to the originals in part but successfully bought their personal style into the mix; Forever the Sickest Kids attempted Rihanna and Calvin Harris’ “We Found Love”, and managed to keep the fresh and fun feel of the song for the most part, meshing it with some tasteful bits of growls and screams through the middle, similar to their usual style. “We Found Love” was another high point of the compilation for me, along with Breathe Carolina’s take of “Billie Jean”, which whilst I think is a big feat taking on such an iconic hit from Michael Jackson, was still pretty great.

However, with the highs come the lows, some of the disappointing parts of the album included Memphis May Fire’s cover of Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” and the Word Alive’s take of Kanye West’s “Mercy”, which lost me pretty early and was difficult to listen all the way through, although in their defence, I hated the original version too.

Punk Goes Pop 5 is definitely my favourite of the series and the compilation had its high points and some tracks definitely brought new life to the originals and showcased some bands that aren’t that well known. Whilst Punk Goes Pop won’t appeal to everyone, it is still a great compilation and is worth a listen if you are sick of hearing the same version of a song over and over again.

Review by Sibel Kutlucan
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Memphis May Fire
Upon This Dawning
Mayday Parade
We Came As Romans
Like Moths to Flames
Breathe Carolina
Forever The Sickest Kids
The Maine
Crown The Empire
Craig Owens
The Word Alive