The highlights of Pushing Red Buttons’ self-titled sophomore effort begin and end with track 6, “Danny’s Private Life.” Often sounding more like a lounge act than a pop band, PRB falls flat due in no small part to wasted harmonies, repetitive melodies and quirks that don’t work.
What’s unfortunate is “Danny” gives the listener a sense of what the group could sound like if they focused on what they profess to be – your garden-variety, candy-coated pop outfit a la Jellyfish, Beach Boys or Todd Rundgren. Instead, many of the songs are too long to be pop tunes, often teetering too close to goofy land where they are banished for eternity and never to be taken seriously.
At the risk of coming across too severe, the annoyingly positive “It’s a Really Happy World” is enough to make any listener really, really, really angry. Not even the tunes at Disneyland will make you want to put a bullet in your head (okay, so “It’s a Small World” is an exception).
Bottom line – PRB can probably find a decent fan base with its special brand of pop, much in the same way King’s X and Enuff Z’nuff have. But unless the group can capture the vibe and promise of tracks like “Danny” and translate those into an album’s worth of songs, it won’t have much of an impact in the already muddy world of pop, let alone the broader mainstream market.