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Reviewing the debut album, Madeline, from Tickle Me Pink is overshadowed by the sudden death of bassist Johnny Schou on the day of the album’s release, however from a perspective of the music presented by the formerly indie band, Madeline aims for the fences and delivers a thought provoking, sometimes hard, sometimes soft, look into the demons of life. Produced by Lee Miles (Red Jumpsuit Apparatus) the disc screams about the terrors of drugs, love, loss, and addiction which radiate through nearly every track within.

The band put it best in Entertainmentopia‘s interview with them last week that, “A lot of the songs on the record are incredibly personal and others may be extremely superficial, however they all manage to maintain a truthfulness to them. I think collectively we could all agree that “Madeline” (our self titled track) holds the most significance to us. “

The title track does indeed stand out as the most poignant cut on the album as lead singer Sean Kennedy belts (presumably about the title girl), “Only girls who would ever compromise / Strike a deal with the devil to save the night“; and later “Oh oh oh oh I couldn’t hear her cries / As she filled her veins with lies / Till she saw the light“;. The song radiates the regret of overlooking someone’s problem before it’s too late, never taking a stand to correct something that they may never be able to see. Nestled comfortably between the slow starting “The Lush Life”; and followed by the mediocre “We Still Dance“; it holds the album together, exemplifying its themes.

Several of the tracks diverge away from the more pop punk aura and strike pretty hard. “We’re Not Alone“; starts off slow with an acoustic guitar introduction before pumping in hard. “I Can’t Breathe“; roars out of the game as the hardest track on the disc and speaks of a doomed relationship only held together by “painful pleasures”; and the thought of change that will not happen. Unfortunately the album doesn’t finish as strongly as it starts with the more single ready tracks, like the strong hook-packed “Typical“; and the aforementioned “Madeline.”;

Madeline is a fine album from the indie darlings who have been propelled to the commercial stage. Working with a producer for the first time posed challenges to the band; however, as evident by their music throughout the disc, it’s clear that they were able to overcome it. While the latter half doesn’t compare to earlier tracks on the album, as a complete package you could do a lot worse in today’s musical environment.