Pop Music, 2014
Malcolm Keller and Tony Oller are MKTO – get it? MK and TO? Anyway, they used to play best friends on some show on Nickelodeon, and since they have pee-pees, they can’t pose around in faux-lingerie and claim that they have broken free and you ain’t their problem anymore, oh no.
Instead, they strum around in their self-titled debut effort, singing about anarchy and giving the older folks the middle finger (Thank You) and dropping the occasional “fuck” here and there because they’re so high and useless (Wasted). I’m sure they would commit to their art by growing a stubble and dressing up like hobos for the music videos. They also claim, in a creepy lack of irony, that they want to “do you like Michael” in their tribute to R&B love anthems from the 1980s, Classic. Given their background in Nickelodeon, that’s an unfortunate but hilarious drop of a phrase.
Fortunately, the songs here are pleasant and catchy. Thank You is a clear standout with its obscenely infectious chorus, but there’s no shortage of ear candy here like the Jackson Five-like Classic and the boyband cliché American Dream. The words to some of these songs have a knowing nudge-wink kind of humor to them, while in other tracks they come off as corny, but on the whole, MKTO is the next LFO – they make catchy music, ooze cheese probably too much for their own good, and are somewhat forgettable once the record stops.
MKTO is a pleasant and adequately entertaining debut effort, but it is a bit on the generic side, barely rising above the efforts from the swarm of pretty boys churning summertime anthems these days. The guys are kinda cute, I guess, but I can’t muster up the enthusiasm to form any strong opinion about their music here.