The Academy Is...
Fast Times at Barrington High
When William Beckett said that he’d been watching tons of 80’s teen movies and it had gotten him a lot of inspiration for the new material on the album… he wasn’t lying. “Fast Times at Barrington High” isn’t just the most mainstream-accessible album from The Academy Is…, it’s also The Academy Is… sounding like The Academy Is… AND a little bit of All-American Rejects in LOTS of places, and it’s also a big nod to those 80’s music in content in lots of places and in use of synths with the overall music. The AAR mention is crazy through the middle of the record- you'll hear it on track 5, on track 7, and in the beginning a little bit as well. They're not copying though- it just sounds like AAR. As far as the writing goes and the material on this album, it’s hard to find a bad track on this set even if it gets a little redundant. The first six songs are all great- in particular the bright and shiny “His Girl Friday” and the single “About a Girl.” If someone had any sense they would run that song to Hot-AC radio immediately. I mean it in the best way that your mom and your sister would love the song. Maybe that doesn’t sound right but that’s where this record is going to do the most damage. The album gets a little stale in the middle, but it still pulls itself through with a great hook here, a great bridge there, and it keeps itself fresh in that way. The end of the middle starts to sound more and more like what you heard from The Academy Is… on “Santi” but it still has that 80’s twinge to it giving those songs a different vibe. The first six songs make this record the last four put it over the top. Easily the best material that The Academy Is… has put out yet, “Fast Times at Barrington High” should turn them into household name.