Drake Bell relives the oldies with ‘Ready Steady Go!’


Drake Bell impresses with "Ready Steady Go!" but he can't quite shed the reputation of his past Credit: http://blastoutyourstereo.com/

Lucas Wiltjer

Drake Bell impresses with "Ready Steady Go!" but he can't quite shed the reputation of his past Credit: http://blastoutyourstereo.com/

Drake Bell impresses with “Ready Steady Go!” but he can’t quite shed the reputation of his past Credit: blastoutyourstereo.com

Critics will be disappointed as former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell moves on from his past with “Ready Steady Go!” an invigorating jazz-pop-rock hybrid that feels fresh out of the ’50s. Unfortunately, the album lacks innovation or anything to separate it from the pack, and most highlight tracks are covers.

Starting the album off with a cover of “Sunny Afternoon,” Bell demonstrates a fresh attitude that begins to shed his old reputation without the drugs, ignorant comments and arrest records of Bieber, nor explicit dancing and sexual promiscuity of Miley Cyrus. The tune is relaxing yet energizing, painting a vivid summer-time picture making you crave for lemonade on the deck in the sunshine. Sadly, the song does feel second-rate in comparison to the 1966 original version by the Kinks.

Changing up the tone with another cover, this time “Bull,” by Cask Mouse, Bell returns to a 50’s rock and roll similar to Elvis and Chuck Berry, and this time it’s original.

He follows up with similar styles in the consequent covers “California Man,” “Back of My Hand,” and “It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me.” Bell stumbles as he tries to slow the tempo down with a cover of “I Won’t Stand in Your Way” by the Stray Cats and original “Give me a Little More Time.”

As the pace of the songs slow down, instead of showcasing Bell’s range, it just serves to remind you that Bell isn’t one of the classics of the ’50s, no matter how much he tries. That’s really where “Ready Steady Go!” faces most of its pitfalls, the album might be a fresh start for Bell, but not for the industry. The album feels like something that’s been done before, and most of it has, as only three of the 12 songs are originals.

Bell’s only original that really shines is “Bitchcraft,” which keeps the tempo up and incorporates a Rockabilly element into a competent and well-written piece.

Though Bell’s talent is there and he succeeds at maturely moving his “childish television vibe” to the past, his renditions of old songs, which are sub-par to their respective originals, serve as the meat of the album only poorly supported by his his original music.  

What do you think?