October 30, 2008

The Academy Is…: Fast Times at Barrington High

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Maybe it’s the cheesy title, but something about Fast Times at Barrington High, the third full-length album from The Academy Is…, immediately evokes memories of the silly summer days before everyone started worrying about post-college employability. With perfect road trip songs like “Summer Hair = Forever Young” and “Coppertone,” Barrington High sounds like the ideal concept album dedicated to sneaking beer at graduation parties and illicit groping beneath the bleachers. There are no conceivable weak spots: Every track delivers a danceable beat that will worm its way into one’s subconscious for hours. The record’s only flaw, perhaps, is its monotony. Although lead singer / songwriter William Beckett’s turns of phrase are clever (particularly in the hilarious “Beware! Cougar!”), 12 songs about teenage romance can get old fairly quickly. Still, with such incredibly catchy singles as “About a Girl” and “His Girl Friday,” The Academy Is… produces a solid, if slightly unimaginative, album.