The Singles Party (Double Shot) – Anberlin, Danity Kane

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This week we decided to do something special for The Singles Party — two songs. Why two songs? Well, it was a bit of perfect timing that worked out. It just so happens that rockers Anberlin (who’ve interviewed twice on the site) are releasing what is most likely their final single and pop/dance outfit Danity Kane is returning to the music scene with their first single in years. The retirement/reunion juxtaposition was just too obvious for us to ignore, so we figured we’d spice some thing up.

Jason Stives: While they did score two Top 20 singles in their original run my memories of Danity Kane are very slim. I remember their origins, their style, and Aubrey O’ Day’s Playboy spread post break-up (I’m only human) but nothing screamed memorable about them. So to my surprise their comeback single “Lemonade” really came off like a potential winner for them which they probably need. Since reuniting at last year’s Video Music Awards (such a redundant award show) they have stayed rather mum about new music but this really seems to hit the spot for potential radio play and maybe even a hit. The finger snapping and clapping, Tyga’s contribution; there is something that strikes me as catchy here and considering my 50/50 feelings with Top 40 music this is something I actually find infectious and worthy of it’s time. I won’t buy your album, ladies but kudos on this one. Verdict: Add to the Playlist

Nick Porcaro: Who remembers Danity Kane? I sure don’t. Nevertheless, Diddy’s pet project is on the scene again with a taste of surprisingly potent “Lemonade”. The comeback single is best described as a bastard child of Beyoncé’s “Partition” and Iggy Azealia’s “Fancy,” as all three songs feature simple, squelching synth melodies at their core. The newly downsized Danity Kane manages to switch it up a bit, though, with a mellow pre-chorus section built on sumptuous vocal harmonies and smooth chord changes. If anything, it’s a blessing the group is down to three members—the vocal layering on this track is busy enough without former members D. Woods and Aundrea Fimbres wailing away.

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What makes “Lemonade” so refreshing, then, is its gleeful sense of humor. (Even the cover art is funny!) The sassy Danity Kane girls are out to defend their swagalicious honor, brushing off naysayers with amusing lines like “Oooh, these haters got a sour look upon their face” and “Oooh, they lookin’ so thirsty they might just need a drink.” Unfortunately the verses are less memorable, but no one will be paying attention to that in the club—and make no mistake, this song will thrive in the club. Even the notoriously mediocre Tyga steps his game up with a competent rap, lending this gem of a couplet in the process: “Be loyal, lord I’m royal / Whippin’ that brief, catch a case if they try follow.” And can we talk about the production for a second? They sampled the drums to “Grindin'” by Clipse! A TODDLER could make a hot beat with those drums. I love it. Welcome back, Danity Kane. Verdict: add to playlist. This track slaps.

Al Mannarino: I never really liked Danity Kane. By the time they were on Making the Band, I was too busy watching good television. When I would hear their songs on the radio I would turn it off. When I stopped hearing music from them, I didn’t think anything of it until just recently they announced last year that they were reuniting (I had no idea that they broke up). I can honestly say their first new single, ‘Lemonade,’ is the best thing I have ever heard from them. That being said it still isn’t that good. The beat is catchy, but the lyrics are annoying. Tyga doesn’t add too much to the equation except the question, why did we ever let Tyga be relevant? I am not excited to hear this song on the radio, but we all know it probably will be. Verdict: one and done

Lisa Pikaard: Welcome back girls of DK. While it is highly evident in the new single, “Lemonade” that we are down a member and another is noticeably quieter than ever before, the girls are back at doing what they do best: making fun and addicting pop tunes that will be played all summer long. “Lemonade” starts off as something that reminds me of some of the female hip hop/pop musicians of the early 2000s and I’m not complaining. That was a fun time for music and for Danity Kane. This song has a few subtle changes to tempo that I like but, to be honest, the girls are not reinventing the wheel here. There is no outstanding aspect of this song but it is still damn catchy. This song will get airplay even without the backing of Diddy and I will be bopping my head along with the rest of them. Verdict- add to playlist.

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Kelly O’Dowd: Who are Danity Kane? OH! THEM! I thought that was a Pussycat Dolls song. (Are they still around?) Now for a group that was “created” by P. Diddy, boy did they hold their own! Where was this group 10 years ago? Their voices are amazing, and since Diddy isn’t there holding their hand, they soar. And the chorus? Stupid silly how catchy it is. As a comeback song, this rocks. They don’t sound rusty and awkward at all. And if this doesn’t create new fans, I don’t know what will. Everyone is saying this is the song of the summer; it will be. Come September, we will all hate this because it’s so overplayed. Listen and love it now before you hate it and want to set it on fire later. Verdict: Add to Playlist

Bill Bodkin: I’m getting my metal card pulled for this, but God damn this is a good song. I mean you’re using “Grindin'” by Clipse as part of your beat and this is the beat of all beats man. Honestly, “Damaged” was a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, but “Lemonade” this is just absolutely infectious and I will boldly say… Verdict: Add to Playlist.

Final Verdict: Holy smokes…can you believe this? We actually want you to listen to this song and we want you to enjoy the hell out of it.

Jason Stives: When Anberlin announced their break up after seven albums and great success in their genre part of me was bummed and part of me wasn’t phased since I hadn’t listened to them since the days of 2007’s Cities, the peak of their creativity in my eyes. “Stranger Ways” while not a track that comes in like a lion as I thought it would is them showing the strengths they have accumulated over the years. It doesn’t have the youthful allure that their live shows have had for years but lead singer Stephen Christian has never sounded stronger as a singer over a pulsing drum beat, scaling synth riff, and strange, echoing harmonizing. It doesn’t have the forward momentum of a true rocker like they normally produce but its obvious they creatively want to go out on a high under their own terms and I like that a lot. Thanks a bunch, guys! Verdict: Add to Playlist

Nick Porcaro: The Florida rock group Anberlin has returned for one last hurrah. “Stranger Ways” is the first single off the band’s final album, lowborn, and unfortunately the guys didn’t exactly swing for the fences with this one. It’s a middle-of-the-road indie rock tune with ’80s-style electronic embellishments. That’s about all you need to know. The chorus is unmemorable and the song’s slow, steady buildup doesn’t go anywhere. If “Stranger Ways” is an example of the effort Anberlin put into lowborn, maybe they could use a little more time off after all. Verdict: One and Done.

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Al Mannarino: I was never a huge fan of Anberlin. Sure there was a time when I was obsessed with Feel Good Drag, and I would blast it in my car from time to time, but after that one song they never really did anything else for me. For die hard fans it must be devastating to hear that this album will be their last. If I was told that Rise Against or A Day to Remember only had one more album before calling it quits I would be upset as well. As for their latest track of the last album, I wasn’t impressed. The song is good, it is just kind of boring. The whole song sounds like the verse is going to lead into a really strong chorus, and it never happens. Overall I will probably listen to their last album eventually, I’m just not to excited about it. Verdict: One and Done

Lisa Pikaard: Anberlin. I was never a fan. I just feel like the vocals are boring. They aren’t bad, just annoyingly consistent and tame. I do really like one aspect of “Stranger Way,” the way the intensity builds as the song progresses. The producer should be proud of how the song came out. Unfortunately, as a farewell to music, Anberlin did nothing to win me over as a last minute fan. The song doesn’t wow or move me. Verdict: One and Done.

Kelly O’Dowd: Who are Anberlin? Oh, this is their last album? Huh. It seems like the band is going out with a bang. Although, they aren’t inventing anything new here, I’d look into their back catalogue based on this song alone. It fits into my dance-goth-rock days perfectly. And I hope they are happy with the way the song came out, because that song is perfectly produced. Verdict: Add to Playlist

Bill Bodkin: While this isn’t the full on rock ‘n’ roll anthem that I dig from Anberlin, this is still a very cool track. It’s a bit more of a modern synth-ed out track that would work perfectly within any indie alternative radio station. Verdict: Add to Playlist

Final Verdict: While have a love and affection for Anberlin, we just aren’t behind this one.

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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