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Articles Home » 2007 Articles » Rooney - 2007 Calling The World
Rooney - 2007 Calling The World

ARTIST: Rooney
ALBUM: Calling The World
LABEL: Geffen
SERIAL: B0009393-02
YEAR: 2007


LINEUP: Robert Schwartzman - vocals, guitars * Louis Stephens - keyboards * Matthew Winter - bass * Taylor Locke - guitar, vocals * Ned Brower - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Calling The World * 02 When Did Your Heart Go Missing? * 03 I Should've Been After You * 04 Tell Me Soon * 05 Don't Come Around Again * 06 Are You Afraid? * 07 Love Me Or Leave Me * 08 Paralysed * 09 What For * 10 All In Your Head * 11 Believe In Me * 12 Help Me Find My Way


You do wonder how some bands get signed. Is it the quality of their song writing? Or maybe it's who you know? Well in this case the family connections of young Robert pack quite a punch. As we find that vocalist Robert Schwartzman's mother is actress Talia Shire (Adrian from the Rocky films) and so this meant being born into the film industry's most famous families. You know.. the Coppola's, Cage etc. Anyway before I do Rooney an unjustness, here are some facts and figures. The band-name is based on the character Ed Rooney, he being the principal from the film 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off', and not some homage to Wayne Rooney (30), of Manchester United and England fame. By the way, why is it when any footballer is named in the UK papers, their name is always followed by their age? 'Calling The World' is the middle album of three which they released. It comes in a couple of different covers and can be found pretty cheap. I have seen this in the Poundland shops in the UK. So was anyone aware of the melodic rock nature of this album? Baldwick (560), (by my reckoning, as set in 1485) you stand amazed! So did Rooney deserve their record deal with Geffen? On this evidence I feel they certainly did, and I would have hoped they made it on their own feet and not needed anyone to pull any strings, anyway what do I know, maybe that was the case anyway, and so, here is the case for the defence.

The Songs
There are tubs of Jellyfish dotted around this album, and this is first displayed on the opening title-track 'Calling The World', and it reminds you when pop music was fun and only existed in the summer months. Quite an understated opening because from here the album just grows at an alarming rate.

A cursory glimpse to the time of the Fine Young Cannibals is found in the opening of 'When Did Your Heart Go Missing', while Rooney starts pushing into the musical woodland where you find the likes of The Killers, The Gentlemen (I'll keep mentioning this group, until someone takes notice), The Cab and a bloke who annoyingly bucked the trend of 'The' before the group's name is a happy Elvis Costello (61).

A similar trail is followed on 'I Should've Have Been After You', which has an opening riff only found coming from a Brian May (68) cherry red guitar (sounds like the title of a stalker movie.. Ed). Now this is where it gets interesting, the keyboards could be from an ancient time, like Judd, Starcastle (seriously), sweeping into a beautiful melody, the chorus and backing vocals are from a line of dream pomp bands, that piano deep down is Roadmaster, before they shut the door on that century. The dreamlike sequence is like The Zombies and those old Jellyfishes once again. Bearing in mind Andy Sturmer (50) is here providing additional vocals, more pompy keyboards than all those Giuffria albums put together.

'Tell Me Soon', just reeks of those American college films, kicking heels, part ballad, part symphony, maybe something a young Enuff Znuff might have progressed to. Still plenty of riffing guitars, not just here but in majority of the tunes. More twirling scarves than a Bayern Munich home match.

The power pop moments keep coming. A Redd Kross is given for 'Don't Come Around Again', again benefiting from a gloriously catchy chorus, with more one finger piano rather than keyboards on offer. It breaks into a mid-section that provides more entertainment.

If I thought it was good at this point, well this album has a great midfield; one helluva of a strong spine can be found. This is topped off by 'Are You Afraid', this has my favourite 'dut dut' keyboards, so impressive that the writers of the old Frontline, would just have typed out 'dut dut' for the whole issue on hearing this. This mixes ELO, Alliance, Airborne and New England in three minutes. Yes this is not what you expect from a group one source labelled as an alternative rock band, this really should've been on AOR Heaven or Avenue of Allies, appearances can be deceiving.

And it doesn't stop there, next up is the power pop with power pomp, the missing years of New England can be summed up on 'Love Me Or Leave Me', the keys have been found. Parts of cheesy Beatles, legs kicking out like they belong to Clare Crogan (53) from Altered Images (anybody remember her in 'Gregory's Girl'?), enough guitar solos to market a Guitar Hero game on the PlayStation.

It even has a bit of dirt with 'Paralysed', this is a right kick to the shins. The Knack with Riggs, dual guitars and dual double bass drums, that overall chaos of the 'oh oh oh' is crippling, excellent. The guitar solo by Taylor Locke (31) is as hot as Rwanda or a young Jane Fonda (77, now that's a contradiction) not my own work, but a lyric from the song, 'Gamma Ray', by Circa Zero, another great release that failed to get any recognition.

I give the 'What For' a view of a country influence, but mentioning that genre doesn't do it any damage, just like the that influence has on Billy Satellite (31.. this is getting a bit stupid!), so nothing to worry about. Whereas 'All In Your Head' has an 80's new romantic feel with Britpop vocals, but more of a link to the Flying Birds project rather than Oasis, plus creeping in is a style slightly akin to Richard Marx (52).

'Believe In Me' finds its way back to the higher ratings, I much prefer this, strong melodies and that chorus that just keeps pushing. Yes, a close link to The Killers, but Rooney is more riff-based and never reluctant to have streaming waves of keyboards.

In Summary
After the third album, 2010's 'Eureka', off went young Bob (32), and did a bit of soundtrack work, some acting but to me nothing to the levels of this album in terms of success and quality. Actually I have never seen him act, so what do I know, although his brother Jason (35) has had more success in acting, apparently. Yes its power pop, but what makes this different from the first album is the use of keyboards and more oomph to the guitar, especially the solos. To me it's much more than a power pop album, although I have a concern that I am making this out to be a lot better than it actually is. Am I hearing just distorted pomp or is it an AOR mirage on my stereo? Gone are the days for me to provide an unbiased view on this, I have already been sucked in by its charms. Instead I will just have to leave it to you guys to reach your own conclusion.

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#1 | gdazegod on November 30 2015 21:13:35
Very clever Chris, with everyones' ages in brackets.. lol!
#2 | englandashes on November 30 2015 22:10:59
Thank you George, something that has always puzzled me for ages, much appreciated, Chris (46)!
#3 | gdazegod on November 30 2015 22:12:40
Great.. George (16).. lol!
#4 | Explorer on December 01 2015 13:03:18
Intrigued (56)...I`ve just bought this for pennies on that Interweb thingy.
#5 | gdazegod on December 01 2015 21:02:18
BTW (16) means how old I really feel when listening to our beloved sub-genres of melodic rock. Just like it was back in my high school years!
#6 | englandashes on December 01 2015 21:13:14
Agree with you George, to my mind i will never grow up when it comes to music, not concerning my tastes, but music puts you back to the time when you first heard it, the school disco when i heard AC/DC with Whole Lotta Rosie, December 75' watching Top Of The Pops watching Bo Rhap with my mum, on a Thursday evening, that saturday afternoon, when my dad brought me Journey Don't Stop on 12 inch pic disc for my birthday!
#7 | Explorer on December 01 2015 21:39:26
Christ, you`re making me feel old here with early memories...LOL of course we`re all still 16 in our heads, it`s just the rest of us that`s wearing out! One of my earliest musical memories was being taken to see 'A Hard Day`s Night' by my older brother sometime in the early 60`s,there was no turning back after that.
#8 | Nick C on December 02 2015 00:37:49
Yeah (81) - This intrigued me too, had a quick listen on you tube and picked up their 3 albums for a little over £7 inc postage.
#9 | gdazegod on December 02 2015 01:37:08
Feeling my age this week.. perhaps it's because Xmas is just over the horizon? George (104)
#10 | Explorer on December 04 2015 20:05:44
Got this today...a proper little belter, off to order the other two now. Thanks for the shout out on these guys Chris.
#11 | englandashes on December 04 2015 21:10:26
Great to hear, Nick and Malcolm, I need to play the debut abit more, but would like to hear both of your views on the Eureka album, best wishes!.
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