The Click Five & Eric Dill- past and future [or lack thereof]

I’d been going into a lot of nostalgia lately, but some of it has been answering past questions and making peace with the past.

Music is my biggest anti-drug. I listen to it to enjoy myself but also to get past any negativity in my head, calm myself down and such.

On a handful of occasions, though, music has brought me down… way down.

It was one thing when The Click Five’s lead singer, Eric Dill, left. It was another entirely that his voice and that particular vibe had gone away… for the most part.
Ben Romans, the keyboard player (also my favorite member of the band), has a unique sound in his playing and that comes out in some of the tracks in the second album. His songwriting (with and without bassist Ethan Mentzer) was still very prevalent in this record.

Today, the vibe I got was that I could think of it as an album by an entirely different band and it wouldn’t be so bad. I wound up kinda accepting a lot of it and really enjoying myself.
The exception remains their leading single “Jenny.” That synth riff makes me SO SAD, it’s impossible for me to get through the song without becoming an emotional wreck.

But the emotional release today did feel kinda good. Of course it’s not something I could play with anyone else but by myself because I’ll sing in my own key at the top of my lungs… as if I was the one Jenny broke up with or just wouldn’t commit to.
Pretty miserable, but whatever.

To me, The Click Five was like a combination of the Beach Boys and the Beatles, between the vibe in their music and the matching suits… heck, they were Jesse McCartney’s opening act at his Six Flags concert in 2005 and they impressed me helluva more than he did… I still blame the sound system that made Jesse’s voice sound so distorted as if he was Mickey Mouse on helium.

Their debut, Greetings from Imrie House, was my constant companion in the spring of 2006. I’d listen to it, singing to it in my dorm room, drumming all the drum parts and the keyboard parts. One year, I listened through the album on the guys’ birthdays and air-played their respected parts.

So… going back to their second album, which I figured I’d do first, see how I feel, wait and then go back to their first album and just let loose with it 😎 it’s a great summertime, happy-go-lucky record that brightened my days. and just maybe I’ll notice why they considered The Cars one of their greatest influences… now that I know who The Cars are and what they sound like.

The second album felt pretty good. Kyle Patrick, the new lead singer, gives me a bit of a punk rock vibe… the lead singer with messy hair… kinda took some getting used. Anyway, the first couple songs had me thinking either Fall Out Boy (who I spent years dismissing until “My songs know what you did in the dark”… which I fell head over heels for) and Neon Trees (maybe because I heard “Everybody Talks” a few minutes before listening to it).

I thought thinking of them as a band separate from the original Click Five, I wouldn’t feel so bad. I actually embraced a lot of the music.
“Addicted to me” reminds me a bit of the 80’s, like Thompson Twins type stuff… my second favorite on the record after “Headlight Disco” which had plenty of 80’s ingredients too (great synths and a little Linn-drum in places)… such good fun and I could hang with those two tracks specifically and be fine.

“Flipside” is the opening track and I was getting a little Beach Boys vibe mixed with Fall Out Boy. It used to make me cringe because of the song that followed.
The synth line of “Jenny” induces about as much sadness in me as the opening chords of Richard Marx’s “Angelia”… now that’s an emotional song, but I go to it for a good cry and it has good music. I’d skipped “Jenny” a few times, once I listened to it twice in a row to try to cure my crying jags with no success… I’d dismissed it, saying I didn’t feel it was very strong lyrically.

“Happy Birthday” made me miserable because I was turning 21 within the next year… but I’d gotten past that this time around.

track 5, I remember being emotional with, but forgot which song it was… until I heard the guitar chord progression in the opening seconds… that also inspired me to cry on the spot, but there were no tears here.
“I’m Getting Over You”… a lot of this album is pretty melancholy, but there are few things worse than saying you’re getting over someone repeatedly as if repetition will make it less of a lie… that’s just sad in the general sense, synonym for “pathetic”. what made it kinda bittersweet the first couple times was the synth line that came in before the final choruses, a reminder that this was the same band Eric Dill sang lead for.

his voice IS the band… like Adam Levine is for Maroon 5 and Billy Joe Armstrong for Green Day… take them out of the picture and it just isn’t the same.
The only exception to this rule… other than maybe Adam Lambert with Queen, is Phil Collins replacing Peter Gabriel in Genesis… but what do I know? I never heard any of Peter Gabriel’s non-solo stuff. Not a huge fan.

“When I’m gone” is something I feel I can use for one of my stories where the climax is a suicide… pretty disturbing, I know, but it was something I felt I had to write about, since it was a big topic in my high school. I was inspired to do the story the first time it happened, not knowing half a dozen would follow through those 3 years. And the last one was a friend of friends who happened to be in one of my classes. Her passing was sad for sure, although I wasn’t nearly as broken up about it as everyone else. I figured we’d still have our scheduled Bio test that day, but we put it off to mourn.

Other songs I wanted to use for that part are “Last Night” and “Blind Sight” by Ryan Cabrera (now his second album had some emotional moments in it, but it wasn’t by any means painful).

after the awesomeness that is “Headlight Disco” (kinda like a follow-up to “Friday Night” thematically, but with even more 80’s music tricks) is a couple ballads.
“The Reason Why” is a little melancholy… talking about falling into bed together and falling in love young… :shrug: I wasn’t especially excited about it this time around. Not that it ever is exciting.
“All I need is you” is a little repetitious musically, but it does bring back some of the old vibe their previous album had… it could work as a Cars-inspired track.
“Mary Jane” was one of those songs I had to skip a few times. It was among the first songs the group wrote. Never heard Eric’s vocals on it, but it was kinda sad knowing someone else would be singing

“Long way to go” brings back a little of the “Addicted to me” vibe, but overall it doesn’t really excite me. Kinda like what their Thompson Twins cover on the previous album was, just didn’t get into it.

Last but not least, “Empty”… written by Ben and Kyle… kind of a sad note to end the album on and often times it’s emotional… this time, not so much, but I did get into it quite a bit.
In a way, it reminds me a bit of “Yellow” by Coldplay in the louder portions in between chorus and verse

so yeah… that’s their second album… later on, I’ll get back to the first and hopefully it will be like I never left 😎

two things happened with the group when I wasn’t noticing 😛
1) The Click Five broke up a year ago… which is just as well… I moved on from them after this album (and now I’m thinking I probably won’t smash it to bits, which I had thought about quite a bit… I don’t think I could manage being that cruel to music, it’d be as bad as burning books… now that’s REALLY not okay by me)
2) Eric Dill released his solo album in 2012

that was something I anticipated for years, how’d I miss it?
… 2011 happened and I became a mega Downey fan 😛 took me maybe one track to fall in love with this album. I flubbed a bunch of lyrics on the opening track “Good Day”. Oh the days when that song introduced me to Lexapro (never heard of it before that) and ‘100 proof attitude power’ in the following track.

It must be hitmaker Adam Schlesinger (hey, except for an extra e I had that spelled right :-P) and those opening bars… but when “Just the girl” started, I immediately began smiling… LOVE this song and everything it represents.
The best part: Eric’s vocals. Quickly followed by the keyboards and guitars that stuck in my head even after all these years.

I did see a lot of The Cars influence throughout the album. Also a lot of Beatles in the back-up harmonies… oh those harmonies! That was the thing I really missed hearing in the follow-up album. Behind Eric’s vocals, they were what made the songs stand out to me.

“Catch your wave” is perfect for this time of year… took me a while to remember how it went. A good song to sing at the top of my lungs, a little out of key 😛

“I’ll take my chances with you”… such a sweet ballad, definitely Beatles influence in the blending back-up harmonies.
It reminded how I started to model a high school band about these guys… if anything, the songs from the album inspired a couple scenes in the sequel.
I doubt anyone believed me if I said I named two characters Eric and Corey without ever seeing “Boy Meets World” and before I found Eric Dill via The Click Five, but that’s the story I’m sticking to.

“Friday Night” I remember hearing on many a Friday night when I really had nothing to do, nobody to really hang out with… which goes against all of what the song stands for… strange…

“Angel to you/Devil to me” I remember really enjoying and a lot of that came back immediately.
The lyric about grabbing the bat and getting back in the game… had me thinking about episode 4 of Fooly Cooly where Mamimi says “Ta-kun, he really swung the bat”

“Resign” was among my least favorites, although probably dead last among the first 9 songs… it’s another rocky ending.
not that there’s anything wrong with it, it just doesn’t have as many things about it that make me jump up and down with joy.
although it gave me the lyric “lame conspiracy” which I used to describe the possibility that The Click Five was coming to my college to perform. It was on their website and I offered to help with the concert… then it turned out that it was never confirmed with them…

Why the hell would you put something on your website if you didn’t already book the venue?
I never really got over that…

“Pop Princess” was my favorite at the concert where I heard them the first time… it’s still my favorite track now. Keyboards and synths were the star, what really got me into the song in the first place, then the vocals followed.
lol, I was such a fan that I named my first Neopet PopPrincess51083. Not because Joey Zehr was my favorite band member at any time (he’s the drummer), but because his trading card came with my album (yep, they had trading cards)…

“Time Machine” starts with some cool strings, separating it from the rest of the album… it’s about going back in time to fix a relationship gone wrong… after the strings, there’s a sparse musical arrangement, a tambourine plus a couple other instruments… again, so Beatles.

The Cars was probably most evident in Just the girl, Angel to you/Devil to me (those guitar solos scattered in the verses… so their sound) and a little bit in Time Machine.

Then the album goes downhill in more ways than one.
“Lies” is their cover of a Thompson Twins song… still kinda intense… maybe some of that is leftover apprehension from “Sky High”, that Disney movie about a school for children of superheroes, starring Michael Angragano (Kristen Stewart’s ex) and Danielle Panabaker (she and her sister were in a bunch of Disney Channel/made-for-TV movies)…
I’m still a little unnerved by how the plot unfolded. Not that part where the star’s girlfriend turned into the bad guy… the part where she was a villain from years ago who used her invention to turn all the superheroes into babies. Don’t know why but that really bothered me.
That song played in the background during that scene.

ah, boo-hiss, a lot of things bother me, so what?
at least one of those things isn’t sex and cussing in music… I can handle that in moderate doses but I still have my limits.

It took me a little while to listen to it again, but now… still not a huge fan.

Then “Say Goodnight” is a really bittersweet break-up song. Made me cry so many times, mostly because this great album was coming to an end and I hated to say goodbye to it.
There’s also that melancholy final minute and a half where it’s just the music on repeat with the keyboards playing a sweet melody.

Overall, though, it was great to bring this out again. Great to look back on all this… before I stop though, I should listen to some of Eric Dill on YouTube. Particularly “Inside you,” a song of his I got hooked on just before I read “Twilight,” it helped set the vibe… despite it having nothing to do with the book..
and also his version of “No Surprise”… yep, that Daughtry song from their 2nd album. Eric wrote that and gave it to them, but his own version is on YouTube.

oh and Eric’s acoustic “Kidnap my heart” video is still available under my YouTube favorites 😎
I finally did see the movie “Taking 5” that stars him and the band. I think it goes that they’re kidnapped by girls who are pissed off they couldn’t get into their concert and wanted to depreieve their classmates the chance to see them.
Then the older sister Christie Carlson Romano (of “Even Stevens” and “Kim Possible” fame) falls in love with Ben Romans… who wouldn’t, right?

the movie was at least more tolerable than Chris Trousdale’s film “The Biggest Fan”… just so amateurish, how that was shot.

listening to that song again and seeing Eric playing guitar… I’m not sure if it’s something that manifested during his time with the group or after he left, but his voice makes my heart smile. As if his voice feels like its my soulmate or something weird like that.

that’s disappointing… that song I mentioned isn’t on Eric’s album on iTunes 😦 that sucks… thank god for YouTube

“Inside You” doesn’t have the best lyrics, very provocative, but it is hauntingly beautiful. It was in my head when I started reading “Twilight” the first time, so I was getting that cold, dark, wintery vibe from it.

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