If you haven’t heard of MKTO yet, then you must have been hiding under a rock. Ever since the release of their debut single, Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller have been living out their music dreams. Their first single, Thank You, raced to the top ten in various different countries, as did their next two singles Classic and God Only Knows. MKTO is more than just a combination of the duo’s intials; it also stands for “Misfit Kids and Total Outcasts”, which the duo says described their album and the kind of kids they were in high school. MKTO have a unique sound combining pop, hip hop and r&b, which makes for some edgy and catchy tunes.
The album gets off to a blazing start with Thank You. This youth anthem contains sarcastic and witty lyrics, which paired with a catchy beat is difficult to get out of your head. The pop song is also given an edge by some fabulous rapping by Malcolm. Other singles Classic and God Only Knows follow suit, telling tales of love embraced by a memorable melody.
Wasted and Heartbreak Holiday take a different, cynical perspective on love. Wasted is a heart wrenching ballad, with beautiful vocals by Tony. Starting out with just a piano, a string section creeps in to build to a gorgeous crescendo. With lyrics like “I’d give you my heart but I’d just fuck it up/And we’d end up, we’d end up wasted”, it’s hard not to be touched by this song. Heartbreak Holiday is a timely release, with the singer voicing how much he hates Valentine’s Day, especially just after a tough break up. This one is sure to get plenty of play in two weeks time when the day arrives.
The only song I really dislike is Nowhere. Whilst the melody flat lines and doesn’t really go anywhere, this isn’t the problem. The problem is that the song is uncharacteristically sexist. Lyrics include “You know what I like so give me what I want/And girl I’ll never go nowhere”. The song also implies that the guy is just freeloading off his girlfriend whilst she pays for everything. Somehow, I don’t think Nowhere is going to win over too many people.
However, American Dream and Goodbye Song come in to save the day. Once again, these two songs follow the same pop/hip hop formula as MKTO’s successful singles. American Dream discusses how the american dream isn’t a reality anymore, and makes a great pop culture reference to a John Mellencamp song. Goodbye Song really takes the cake for funniest song on the album. Probably the first song to include the line “To make sures there’s a happy ending/I’m gonna hook up with your mom”, this is bound to get stuck in your head and is a close to perfect break up song.
MKTO is a great debut from this vibrant duo. All songs contain a dynamic energy, and it’s evident in the music that the pair had fun creating these tracks. This vibe is passed on to the audience, and makes listening to the album a heap of fun. MKTO’s album delivers a great variety of songs, and their unique blend of pop, hip hop and r&b almost ensures a successful career for this energetic duo.