Folk N Rock
A Trip Back To The Candy Shop: A Look At ‘Pretty Girls Love Rock’

The doors to the “Candy Shop” are swinging open once again, and this time, they’re not just offering sugary treats. Cady Shop Records has dropped a fresh batch of tracks onto streaming platforms, and let me tell you, this isn’t your average jingle. The first time I sampled their tunes, I was genuinely impressed.

This isn’t just a clever marketing ploy, it’s a full-fledged album brimming with catchy melodies, a diverse roster of talent, and a whole lot of fun. They manage to sprinkle in those “Candy Shop” references with the finesse of a seasoned pastry chef, but make no mistake, this record is far more than just a commercial for what they offer.

“Candy Shop Army” kicks off with a dreamy guitar riff that quickly gives way to a percussive build-up, setting up for such a cool little playful exchange between a hopeful guy and the object of his affection. He’s laying it all out there, promising a post-tour rendezvous that’s sure to be sweeter than any candy. The melody is infectious, and just when you think you’ve got the song figured out, a seamless transition ushers in a chorus elevated by edgy female vocals. The whole thing takes on a pop-punk energy that cranks up the intensity.

The second verse takes a turn towards unabashed flexing, showcasing a rags-to-riches tale of hard work and hustle paying off. It’s a classic “started from the bottom, now we’re here” narrative, but with a twist. A hushed whisper momentarily breaks the flow, leading into a spoken-word interlude that injects a dose of vulnerability. From there, the intensity escalates once more, culminating in a soaring vocal melody that’s downright addictive. The whole track is a whirlwind of energy and confidence, leaving you with an undeniable earworm and a pep in your step.

“Candy Shop Billionaires” kicks off with a sultry female voice purring a spoken-word tribute to the Candy Shop empire, setting a seductive tone. Then, the track takes a sharp turn into old-school punk territory. The mix is intentionally low, unpolished, and gritty, reminiscent of the underground rock scene’s rebellious spirit. It’s a deliberate choice that adds to the song’s edgy appeal. But just when you’re settling into the chaos, a crisp transition introduces cleaner vocals and a tighter mix, creating a dynamic contrast that’s refreshing. This shift is a clever way to keep you on your toes.

The duality of this track is indeed irresistibly charming. The female vocal lines are a standout, effortlessly blending a classic punk-pop edge with a touch of sweetness. The lyrics playfully hint at a Candy Shop dance routine, sparking curiosity and visions of a high-energy, candy-fueled dance floor. Can you already picture the bright lights, the swirling colors, and the infectious rhythm that would have everyone moving and grooving?

The song’s playful spirit ignites the imagination, making you want to jump right in and join the fun.. The whole song is undeniably infectious, with a sing-along chorus and an irresistibly catchy hook. But the real surprise comes in the middle of the track, where an unexpected breakdown in the beat completely transforms the energy. It’s a strong showcase of the song’s versatility and willingness to experiment. The singer’s vocal range is equally impressive, effortlessly shifting between gritty, grungy power and serene, melodic sweetness.

“Like a Rock Star” is an awesome track, with a killer riff and percussion that hits like a double espresso shot (the Sabrina Carpenter kind.) The vocal melody is top-notch, coming in through the instrumentation with a playful swagger. It’s a contender for the most addictive track on the album, packed with high-energy, infectious vibes, and lyrics that are downright hilarious.

The band clearly isn’t taking themselves too seriously, and that’s part of the song’s charm. A shoutout is due to the vocalist’s range, as he channels the deep, resonant tones of Jyrki from The 69 Eyes at one point, proving his ability to traverse genres with ease. This twist leaves you wondering if a gothic rock spin-off from Candy Shop Records might be on the horizon – and honestly, sign me up for that.

While I’ve gushed about the instrumentation on this record (and rightfully so, it’s stellar), the vocal work deserves a standing ovation as well. The performances are consistently strong, showcasing a range of styles and emotions that elevate the songs to a whole new level.

“Mr. Candy Man” is a wild ride that transports you straight back to those carefree college days. The lyrics are unapologetically absurd, embracing the kind of humor that thrives on the edge of ridiculousness. This track is all about letting loose and having a good time, consequences be damned.

And then comes the moment that truly sets this song apart: a rapid-fire spoken-word section where words are unleashed like a verbal assault. It’s a whirlwind of sound that, for a moment, might even have you mistaking it for Eminem’s “Rap God.” The drums play a crucial role here, building up momentum and anticipation before exploding into the chorus with a satisfying crescendo. The percussion throughout this entire album has been nothing short of freaking awesome, and this track is no exception.

“Mr. Candy Man” is yet another infectious anthem on this record, brimming with charm, wit, and a whole lot of fun. The lyrics are a masterclass in tongue-in-cheek humor, making it impossible not to crack a smile while listening.

“New York City” dials back the energy a notch, settling into an easygoing groove that perfectly captures the carefree spirit of a night out on the town. This track is a love letter to the Big Apple, filled with tales of adventure, romance, and the irresistible allure of the Candy Shop lifestyle.

The chorus on this one is an absolute showstopper, showcasing vocal work that’s nothing short of phenomenal. Imagine Richard Marx, in his late 80s prime, fronting a pop-punk band – that’s the kind of magic we’re talking about here.

The lyrics take you on a whirlwind tour of New York City, from the vibrant streets of Harlem to chance encounters with a multitude of admirers. It’s like being right there with the band, experiencing the city’s energy and excitement firsthand. You can practically taste the pretzels, smell the hot dogs, and hear the roar of the crowd as you navigate the landscape alongside them, and stopping by the Candy Shop to pick up some new stuff.

“Smashing Guitars” kicks open with a classic 1234 drum count. The male vocals kick in, echoing the count, but with a twist – he’s using it to deliver a playful, military-style rhyme about love and infidelity. And then, just like Lou Bega in “Mambo #5,” he launches into a storm of female name-dropping.

Now, before you start picturing shattered instruments and rock star antics, let’s clear something up: “Smashing Guitars” is most definitely a metaphor. It’s a wink and a nudge, a tongue-in-cheek celebration of good times, not like smashing guitars like you see on the cover of ‘London Calling’ by The Clash.

This track embodies the pure joy of music that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a nice reminder that sometimes, all you need is a catchy song, a playful lyric, and a whole lot of candy shop merch make the world a brighter place.

To wrap it all up, this album is a run for Candy Shop Records. Each track is a burst of pure, unadulterated fun, and I found myself thoroughly enjoying every single one. The pop-punk influences are undeniable, whether intentional or not, and they add a layer of nostalgia and energy.

If you’re looking for a soundtrack to your summer adventures, look no further. These are the kind of songs that need to be blasted at full volume while you’re soaking up the sun by the pool or cruising down the highway with the windows down. Candy Shop Records has once again proven that they know how to create music that’s not just catchy, but also a celebration of the sweet life. So go ahead, indulge your senses and get you some of the this sugary sweet goodness – you won’t regret it.

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