Taking Hayley - Tricks and Games
To say the Birmingham quartet Taking Hayley only formed in 2010, they've had their fair share of success, including support slots with the likes of The Summer Set and Twenty Twenty, and quite a number of hits on their YouTube channel. They will soon be embarking on their own UK tour in September, where you'll surely hear some of the gems from Tricks and Games.
The album is truly full to the brim with energetic, up-tempo pop-rock tracks with shining, youthful vocals to top it all off. There are plenty of danceable party songs that are impossible to resist singing along to. Don't Let Go, Up All Night and Tonight are stand-out songs with their ridiculously catchy fist-pumping choruses and the squeaky clean vocals to polish them off nicely. The synth element weaved into the pop-rock is fun, despite it being reminiscent of several other bands.
There are, of course, many heartfelt ballads to make their female fans weak-kneed. They are borderline cheesy, but the dainty, melodious and bouncy jams are almost like a guilty pleasure, but without the guilt. Better Luck Next Time somehow still manages to be cheeky and bubbly even while lamenting a girl who fancies another bloke, and the soppy and sentimental From Now until Forever slows the dynamics down without being boring. Here I Stand and Holding On are examples of the melodious, palatable sugar coated pop songs which are easily forgettable, but enjoyable enough for the moment.
Taking Hayley are mildly exciting, and there's definitely an audience for them, but it's all been done before. They have a mainstream appeal with their pop-rock sound and their cheeky attitude that is present in their music. You'll sing along to the songs for a while, but probably forget them when the next lot of pop-punk hopefuls come along, which they undoubtedly will.