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The Virgins - S/T | Half-Baked But Chic

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Artist: The Virgins
Album: S/T
Label: Atlantic Records
Release Date: June 3rd, 2008

The Virgins' self-titled debut, a virtually surefire blockbuster that has major label honchos and bloggers panting, is fashioned from trendy, tasteless yet entertaining pop-rock fodder—a method that is often attempted but seldom successful in the long haul. The potentially precarious move may solidify the inordinate hype across the blogosphere. But at what cost?

On the surface, at least, the 10-song endeavor appears to have gone unaffected by conventional artistry. But it is the unwonted gaiety in front man Donald Cummings' manner that suggests an overall abandonment of plebeian tastes.

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As indicated in the opening track "She's Expensive," The Virgins are no less uncouth than before. Cummings' defiantly croons "Don't let a good night's fun come to an early end/ Let's have a cocaine brunch" before the band jolts into a rapturous, exoteric chorus.

The Virgins - "Teen Lover"

Newer songs like the prevaricating "Murder," the brightly colorful but gaudy "Teen Lover," the overly-simplified "Hey Hey Girl," and the Stills/Weezer-esque "Private Affair" find the Virgins taking a rather literal approach to popular songwriting. And, consequently, the NY-based buzz-band effectively demonstrate that they are no longer wet behind the ears.

Yet, ultimately, it was Cummings' unseasoned, drowsy delivery, without a hint of premeditation, that proved to be irrefutably endearing. On the 2007's debut EP, he seemed as earnest and callow as an undergraduate. And, furthermore, the band's name befit their heart-on-sleeve cause.

Much mainstream music is overly-stylized, formulaic, and unrealistic. The Virgins may comprehend this notion, but they have yet to use that knowledge to their advantage. One cannot thrive off of the affectations of pop alone, for it furnishes nothing to make bones with.