Remember Hot Chelle Rae? No? Yes? Well, they’re a band from here. They’re on Jive Records. And their vapid primed-for-Radio-Disney dance-rock hooks, mega-church coiffures and smiling baby faces make Miley Cyrus’ whole general aesthetic look punker than Wendy O. Williams. But as we at the Cream learned a few years back, their unmitigated lameness is news to them. More about that in a minute.
This year, the band’s single “Tonight Tonight” became a Top 40 hit — reaching as high as No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Not to mention reaching the ears of Taylor Swift, who brought the band onstage to sing the song during a performance Saturday night at The Staples Center in Los Angeles. (See video above.) Proof that cynicism (like ours) in the blogosphere can only accomplish so much when it comes to discouraging hacks from persisting in their pursuits of producing bad art.
People who love platitudes often say, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Tell that to noted polygamist and convicted kid-fucker Warren Jeffs. According to ABC News, dude is in a coma, perhaps even near death, after going on a jailhouse hunger strike, or something. My point is that while Jeffs’ coma didn’t kill him (yet), it sure as shit hasn’t made him stronger, as I’m pretty sure I could take his vegetative ass in arm-wrestling match right now. And speaking of comas and vegetables, "Polygamist in a Coma" is easily my favorite Smiths B-side.
Anyway, unlike Jeffs, local baby-faced pop-rockers Hot Chelle Rae have seemingly found strength in their wounds. Wounds inflicted right here on Cream.
I’m guessing many of the longtime-y loyal readers among you first heard of Hot Chelle Rae (colloquially known as HCR) in this 2008 Cream post by former Scene music editor Tracy Moore. Citing their and A&R-rep-proclaimed “great haircuts,” Moore chastised the band for their naked careerism, calling them out as bad artistic liars before characterizing their instantly forgettable brand of Gossip Girl-ready pop-radio pomp as “body rock.”
Judging by the 39-comment-strong flame war that erupted as a result, it seems such words might have hurt some feelings, but judging by the band’s successes since, words haven’t hurt their naked career ambitions. Even if that makes them as beautiful as a Christina Aguilera ballad, it’s a sad fact of life, because Hot Chelle Rae’s “Tonight Tonight” is literally nowhere near as cool as Phil Collins and Genesis’ invisibly untouchable 1986 smash hit “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight.” Got more time to waste? Well then here's nine-minute-long clip of that Reagan-era gem.