Review
Motion City Soundtrack
I Am the Movie

Epitaph (2003) Nick

Motion City Soundtrack – I Am the Movie cover artwork
Motion City Soundtrack – I Am the Movie — Epitaph, 2003

OK, picture the following: Reggie & the Full Effect are traveling east in a train going from California at 120 MPH. Third Eye Blind are traveling west in a train that is headed west from New York at 80 MPH. When will they hit? I'm sorry, but I don't know the answer to that. However, I can tell you that the two trains will crash somewhere in the Midwest and create the band Motion City Soundtrack.

That's right, the band sounds like a Midwestern train wreck of the aforementioned bands. Lead singer Justin Pierre's voice definitely has a Stephen Jenkins feel and it carries well over the Moog-driven harmonies set forth by Jesse Johnson. Also, much like Third Eye Blind, the songs tend to revolve around three chords with the occasional guitar lead. But like Reggie, the lyrics are silly and fun. Yes, it's true that this sound is in no way unique or original, but it provides for a hell of a fun time.

Unfortunately, every music fan knows that fun albums don't have a high replay value. This album holds true to that. It may start out as an album that will be listened to day and night for a week straight, but it quickly turns into an album that is dusted off every six months just for the sake of saying, "Oh yeah. I remember that."

OK, so back to the fun times. I Am the Movie is chock full of nostalgia. The song "The Future Freaks Me Out" makes numerous references to the 80s such as Motley Crue, Footloose, and Velcro shoes, and it compares these novelties to newer, hipper trends such as Drum 'n Bass and the hit TV show, Will & Grace. Other nostalgic references such as "reruns of Night Court," the phrase "more than meets the eye," and Teen Beat Magazine, are strewn about the entirety of the disc. However, like I mentioned before, these lyrics are only cute the first few listens, and every time thereafter is just kind of childish and disappointing.

Overall, the album is just plain fun and silly and not much else can be said. The Weezer and neo-emo kids will be the most likely to eat this album up. I believe Brett Gurewitz was especially targeting that specific demographic when he produced this album, since the majority of people who buy Epitaph Records releases are skaters, stoners, and misguided punkers. Brett was just trying to get bigger his label's audience and there's no problem with that. However, be careful when picking this CD up; it is definitely not something that everyone will enjoy.

6.8 / 10Nick • February 29, 2004

Motion City Soundtrack – I Am the Movie cover artwork
Motion City Soundtrack – I Am the Movie — Epitaph, 2003

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