It was the year 2000. I was in college and living in the Twin Cities, USA, and playing in a band with a bunch of nice guys who were into very good music. They always took me to gigs of rock bands I didn’t even know existed. One great example is Butch Walker’s Marvelous 3. The band was touring with their then-new album ReadySexGo. I was utterly impressed by the energy, the songwriting, and overall presentation of the show. Coming from Europe, I soon recognised differences in how American bands produced their shows and how the audience behaved and reacted to the show. It was refreshing learning these Amercian socio-cultural aspects of rock shows. Maybe that was one of the reasons why that particular Marvelous 3 show stuck with me since the year 2000 and I have been loving their ReadySexGo album ever since.
ReadySexGo was released on September 12, 2000, through Elektra and is Marvelous 3’s third and last album. Frontman and songwriter Butch Walker did a tremendous job producing the album with Jerry Finn. I especially enjoy the astute convergence of a traditional rock-band sound approach with modern facets, such as groove loops and sound effects on voices. Might sound like the normal way of producing music to the youngsters among you reading this, but back then, it was a novel thing to do as a rock band. Well, at least it was to me and it impressed the heck out of me!
So, I had never heard of Marvelous 3 before seeing them, and they laid down such an incredible show that I had to get a shirt and a CD. Maybe I was highly conditioned from their marvelous show, but their ReadySexGo album has been playing ever since in my house, car, office, wherever. It is truly timeless piece of music. The album kicks off with the perfect opener, Little Head, an upbeat rock song with perfect hooks to sing, nod or even jump along! Grant Park takes the pace down a notch, but adds punch and energy. Get over can be considered a powerful half-ballad because of it’s melancholic mood combined with beautiful melodies. Sugarbuzz keeps the tempo low but kicks a tremendous amount of energy into the listeners ears, and I like it! Supernatural Blonde smoothly picks up the pace and leads the way to a song, which I consider an instant classic in the Marvelous 3 catalogue: Radio Tokyo. The song intros with a beautiful solo-piano intro, before entering a Bohemian Rhapsody-esque rock opening. One of my all-time favourite rock songs that did and still does not receive enough credit. And how beautiful is that nana-outro?! Just wow!
The album continues with Cold As Hell, an excellent uptempo rock song that adjusts the dynamics. Check out the harmonies in the guitar solo half-way through the song. Beautiful is my favourite Marvelous 3 song. Can’t put the finger on it, but there’s just something that song that resonates with me. The song is cheesy, powerful, very cliche, but none of that bothers me. It is as the title says, just beautiful. I’m Losing You combines the above-mentioned modern sounds with rock-band sounds packaged in a moody feel. Great energy and arrangements! This Time is another typical Marvelous 3 uptempo song, and that’s a good thing! It starts quietly, builds up throughout the verses to reach a high point in the choruses. Better Off Alone gives us groove, wit and a certain degree of melancholy before moving on to the next song, I Could Change, another perfect and typically melodic Marvelous 3 uptempo song. This song has one of the catchiest choruses on the entire album, and the guitar lick after the chorus is excellent, too. And finally there it is, the mandatory heartbreaking rock ballad: Cigarette Lighter Love Song, a masterpiece in rock history. Also, because it adds a nostalgic dimension in today’s I-use-my-cellpohne-to-make-light at concerts times. The song encompasses a quiet piano intro, soft vocals, falsetto passages, dynamic arrangements that add powerful guitars and drums, as well as crazy-awesome harmonies and a woo-hoo singalong. The perfect closing song for ReadySexGo.
Yes, ReadySexGo was a true rock epiphany for the new millennium and is by now a classic rock album that reminds us of the greatness of American rock music at the end of the last century. I have been in love with ReadySexGo since the year 2000 and my love for this album keeps growing with every new spin.
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