I really wanted to like this album. I first came across Bad Rabbits when I witnessed the spectacle that is their live show in Worcester at Skatefest in 2010 and downloaded the Stick Up Kids EP soon after (From a download card I received from the band!). From first listen, they came off as the second coming of Morris Day and The Time. The EP delivered as did the band especially the energy they exuded on stage. It was infectious and I, as well as tons of others, wanted more. But we would have to wait. It would ultimately be three long years with some teases here and there and some interesting covers before American Love, the debut full length, would finally hit (digital) shelves.
I wasn’t initially impressed with “We Can Roll”. Something was off about it but with most singles I waited to hear how it would sound in context. Unfortunately, it did signify what the rest of American Love would end up sounding like: bland. If this record would’ve come out in 2010 t would’ve killed.
First off, I waited three years for a 10 track album that is barely over 30 minutes? Are you kidding me??? As a fan of the band I’m personally insulted that I had to wait that long for a full-length that has the running time of an EP. Regardless of having the great Teddy Riley present during the recording sessions, you compare “We Can Roll” to “Booties” and you can tell instantly that this is not the same band. I’m all for growth and evolution but when you lose touch with what made you great then maybe that growth and embracing of the “New Jack Swing” isn’t in the plus column of your career. Sure there are songs like “Dirty” that embrace the SUK sound but those moments are fleeting and on an album that barely lasts a half hour, it doesn’t make an impact.
The ideas are grandiose but the delivery is lacking leaving fans with these epic build ups at the forefront of songs like “We Can Roll”, “Royal Flush”, and “Sayonara” that deliver nothing. Hopefully American Dream is right around the corner to fulfill the promise of Stick Up Kids.
American Love is available now.