Falling In Reverse frontman Ronnie Radke must be feeling a lot of pressure. After leaving (we'll leave it at that) hardcore act Escape The Fate. Radke is back several years later as the frontman of Falling In Reverse, and their debut album, "The Drug In Me Is You," will hopefully blow away the controversy that has marked Radke's personal life over the past few years.
While it may be too soon now to tell if the album succeeds in taking the heat off Radke for a little while, admittedly he isn't really trying to stay out of the spotlight either. Instead, he proclaims "I'm back," (didn't Britney Spears try that a few years ago?), and tries to remind everyone that they loved him when he was frontman for Escape The Fate.
The result is a lot of arrogance and swagger, which is great- when pulled off properly. Radke himself is a very talented individual, capable of writing some good songs ("Raised By Wolves" can stay stuck in your head for days), but he also takes himself just a little too seriously. He is the star of the show, and the music is just background to whatever he's singing. The result is a one-man show, with some interesting guitar solos, but otherwise not much in the way of being memorable. Without any interesting musicianship, the focus becomes the vocals, and then it becomes painfully clear that while the words may sound pretty, the lyrics seem like an eight-year-old's first attempt at poetry. "You bring a picture of me every time you get your hair cut / Imposter!" is one of the many indicators that it may be time for Radke to mature a little before being allowed to write more songs.
The childish lyrics are not the only problem that "The Drug In Me Is You" faces. Like a child who has been slighted, Radke makes references to his time in Escape The Fate and his departure from the band, and tries to get his digs in wherever he can. A reference or two is fine, but when it becomes a frequent occurence, the whole issue of maturity resurfaces. The effort to raise himself above his former band is also painfully clear, as he makes statements like, "I know you're jealous and you wish you could be me." It sounds like a last-ditch effort to get more attention, and likely turns away more listeners than it gains.
While the album does have some moments of decency, it's overblown childishness will likely throw most listeners off. Hopefully, if Falling In Reverse choose to continue their music career, Ronnie Radke can learn how to be less arrogant, and to let bygones be bygones, because as it stands, it will hurt his music career a lot more than it will help.