McFly Power To Play
McFly Power To Play

The beloved five-piece British boy-band make a powerful return with an audio love letter to all things rock and roll.

Marking the impressive 20 year anniversary of their domination of the British pop industry, McFly return with a firecracker of a 7th studio album. From their playful soft-rock debut in 2004 to present day, Power To Play perfectly encapsulates what McFly have now become; a mature pop-rock powerhouse that still hold their own in a fast-moving and ever unpredictable industry.

With a total of 11 tracks (17 in the deluxe edition), the band manage to translate their energy and spirit from their live performances into an organic, guitar-powered sound that transcends any of the recycled pop song formulas from recent years.

Beginning with the aptly named track ‘Where Did All The Guitars Go?’, previously released as a single, McFly prove to fans that while they may be internationally famed for immortal pop ballads such as 2005’s ‘All About You’, their creative flare for the hard-hitting beats and ear-worm riffs of classic rock has never diminished.

The song contains much of the tongue-in-cheek humour that the boys are renowned for, on lines such as:


“Whose gonna play for the kids with long hair when nobody cares” and other such allusions to playing for the rockers and young kids alike.

Backed by an intensely catchy and repetitive guitar riff which shifts into an addictive and instantly singable chorus, the opening track boldly showcases the band at the peak of their creativity.

The album’s second track, ‘Land Of The Bees’, ventures into musical territory never before explored by the group. Beginning with a guitar, drum and synth intro, listeners are immediately transported back to the realm of classic 70s rock and roll.

Perhaps this may be jarring for fans of McFly’s signature modern sound, however, upon hearing the upbeat vocals of main vocalist/guitarist Tom Fletcher, listeners can distinctly recognise McFly’s popularised melodic sound within the newness.

This is only one instance of genre experimentation within Power To Play. The fifth track, ‘I’m Fine’, serves as a perfect example of the band’s intention to draw in influences not just from their powerful live performances, but also to sounds of the band members’ past. With its initial steady tempo and tentative vocal performance swiftly converting to a mighty emotion-riddled rock ballad, ‘I’m Fine’ straddles the line between McFly’s radio-friendly pop and their modern brand of British rock, cradled at the very heart of Power To Play.

Parallels could also be made by fans between Power To Play’s eclectic offerings and McFly’s brief but memorable stint as the supergroup McBusted with fellow British band Busted. Combining both groups’ playful lyricism with lively rocker spirit, the group created a small selection of songs that delighted in pushing the boundaries of pop-rock and in turn inviting listeners from various backgrounds to enjoy their hybrid sound. Power To Play feels like an extension of this idea, allowing the boys’ music to become accessible to music lovers of all genres and all ages.

On track ‘Crash’, bass guitarist Dougie Poynter guides fans through a white-knuckle ride of heavy unrelenting guitar riffs and furious drum beats alongside his feverishly belted vocals. There is hardly any moment to breathe in this short but fiery explosion of sound, and that’s what makes it among the best tracks of the album.

The album’s finale, ‘Shine On’, contains a catchy melodic chorus crowned with second vocalist Danny Jones’ signature coarse but soulful vocal performance, wrapping up Power To Play on a joyful upbeat note.

Score/Excellent: McFly leave absolutely nothing to be desired in the wake of their 20th anniversary; Power To Play serving as a direct tribute to the band’s bucket-list live performances, and as a promise of many more exciting years to come. An album sure to delight and unite fans all across the world.

[We rank albums on a scale of Poor, Mediocre, Good, Excellent]

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