Pop music is in. We live in a world where this genre is often regarded as mainstream, yet, you can’t help but wonder how those catchy lyrics made their way into your head. Don’t lie about liking it. If you are, the only person you’re lying to is yourself. For The After Party, they’re about to hit your headphones with their addition to the parade of pop. Even with the loss of their lead singer, these Kansas natives are back at it again with a 6-song EP.

Track 1 of begins with a combination of acoustic guitar and a “let’s clap along” melody—two necessary ingredients to an enjoyable tune. As Kenny sings, “All I wanna do is just lay with you, right here in this bed for two”, “Waste the Day” hits home for me. Following this opening track is The After Party’s “fuck you” anthem, dedicated to a girl hoping to change her significant other for her selfish convenience. I feel like thrusting my fist in the air when the very first F-bomb is dropped in the chorus. “You say you want a better me, I say goodbye.” I’d hate to be the girl this song was written about.

The EP takes a sharp 90 degree turn at track 4. This softer song was definitely something I wasn’t expecting. I’ve seen The After Party perform “Still Got Love” in concert, and the recorded version is not at all identical. Their live version is upbeat and induced with poppy hits. Their recorded version isn’t. While this change was unanticipated, I give TAP major props. I’m usually disappointed whenever songs are altered for recording purposes, but this time around, I’ll make an exception. Tracks 5 and 6—“Here Comes The Rain Master” and “Unforgettable Nights”—are also similar in a softer, ballad-like sense. For that reason, these may be my personal favorites from this EP.

Overall, I enjoyed The After Party’s latest summer release. I can see myself playing this CD in my car while I’m heading down to the shore. It’s a fun listen, especially for early July. Unfortunately, my biggest critique is the lack of lyrical depth. Track 3 of this EP says: “She’s the kind of girl that makes me weak. Whenever I’m around her, I can’t speak.” Nothing all too special, lyrically—same statement applies to the rest of their EP. Then again, most pop songs are more about the likeable melodies and easy-to-remember choruses as opposed to poetic lyrics.

The After Party accomplished that task fairly well. Well done. Another concern is whether or not this used-to-be quartet can make it as a band of three. As for me, I’m excited to see what’s ahead for The After Party’s musical journey. I firmly believe there are good things in store for this band as long as they remind themselves to get more creative along the way.

Rating: 6/10

Written by Catherine Powell