Room on the 3rd Floor
McFly’s Room On the 3rd Floor represents the triumphant welding of a major label’s big-budget pop spend and bona-fide talent–a calculated attempt to win over kids who have grown cynical about the manufactured pop industry and crave something more real. Like those other “real” popstars Busted, they play their own instruments and write their own songs, but where McFly differ significantly is in their influences: they actually have some. The sound of lead single “Five Colours in Her Hair” and “That Girl” virtually (and refreshingly) pre-date the Beatles, harking back to Bill Haley and Chuck Berry, even if “Five Colours…” sounds like it’s trying too hard in places–a forgivable and charming trait. It’s a major gamble (how many 15 year olds are into the Beach Boys?) but it works. Both “Obviously” and the title track are simple, breezy acoustic strumathons (“Wake up early / Round seven thirty / Housekeeping knocking on my door”) with the filtered influence of Noel Gallagher hanging around in the background. The only weakness is in the vocals, which too often sound whiney and diluted. With such blatant influences, there’s an obvious lack of originality, but here the originality lies in actually having influences. Pop has come full circle.
By: Ben Johncock
…I’ll Be Ok
Danny: This started life as two songs- I’d written one and Tom had written another. We put them together when we were in New Orleans
…I’ve Got You
Harry: We recorded this in New Orleans too- it’s so chilled out there. It brought out a different side to our music
Tom: This was originally called Summer Girls and it’s about girls who mess with you head. There’s a sitar on this track
…The Ballad Of Paul K
Dougie: This song’s about a kid who I went to school with who thought he was a dinosaur
…I Wanna Hold You
Danny: This is one of a few songs on Wonderland to provide a good bridge between us two years ago and us now. Hopefully you’ll think its classic McFly
…Too Close For Comfort
Tom: It’s about getting close to a girl, then finding out all the lies
Dougie: It’s the heaviest thing we’ve ever written
…All About You
Tom: I originally wrote this as a Valentine’s present for a girl, ages before Comic Relief
…She Falls Asleep
Tom: It’s about a girl who commits suicide- when she falls asleep, she’s
Tom: It tells a very sad story
…Don’t Know Why
Danny: This is a song I started writing with my sister years ago. It’s all about when your parents argue and you don’t want to hear it and stuff you go through as a kid
Tom: I started writing this in a jacuzzi in New Orleans. The line “I hope you will be happy” was inspired by a musical we saw in New York
Tom: I wrote this with James Bourne for the first album, and we love it.
Motion In The Ocean
…We Are The Young
Opening the album with a bang – a rock-solid manifesto for McFly, their fans and everyone else below pension age in 2006 Britain – a frenzied declaration that the kids are still alright.
Danny: This is a brilliant album opener. We’ve been wanting, for AGES, to make a real rabble-rouser for our fans, so here it is! And we’re still quite young ourselves, even if we’re getting on a tiny bit. It’s also the quickest chorus we’ve ever written it came out straight away.
Tom: We haven’t written quite so much with James Bourne over the last couple of years but this song is one we heard when he came over one night and played me a verse he’d been working on. I thought it was just wicked a really exciting anthem for rebellious or downtrodden youth.
Harry: We’re going to have to change it to We’re The Middle Aged when we’re all a bit older.
If only all long-distance relationships were this much fun: a thunderous gutter-to-the-stars tale of interplanetary love with sing-a-long harmonies and reliable McFly tuneage.
Dougie: This song’s about an alien you’ve fallen in love with. A girl from another planet.
Tom: And obviously, you can’t write a song about space and not feature the word “Uranus”
Danny: We found a new way of writing lyrics this time around we’d think of our theme, and then brainstorm ideas around it. From pages and pages of ideas we’ll then pull a song together. This is one of the songs on the album we did that with.
Tom: We really like coming up with ideas for songs which are a bit different and where there’s a clear sense of it being more than simply I love you, you don’t love me. Those songs can be great but we try to complement them with songs that go outside of that. Regarding the topic of this song I do want to go into space I want to go on Virgin Galactic. Lance Bass from *NSYNC almost went into space but didn’t make it I’m going to pay the £200,000 to go on Bransons rocket.
Already familiar as the bands fifth Number One single from July this year, the track brilliantly captures the fun and energy of McFly with echoes of The Who and a mystery girl playing the female lead¦
Danny: Although Star Girl is the new single, it was important to come back and really start the new album campaign over the summer with a real bang this song, which was on the soundtrack of Just My Luckâ, the film we starred in with Lindsay Lohan, really did the job and went to Number One. Its a really light-hearted track about a girl called Lindsay. Obviously, please don’t make any connection between the Lindsay in the song and the Lindsay we met on set.
Tom: We had a real laugh making the video for this after the last album we wanted to go back to having loads of fun again, which resulted in a Carry On-style hospital romp!
Dougie: We ended up naked in the video, and then again when we performed the song on stage a couple of weeks later. We’re not getting our kit off any more, though people will get bored!
…Sorry’s Not Good Enough
Containing all the traits of a McFly classic (great hooks, instant melodies, beach boys harmonies) this is a massive pop song upbeat, angry, confused and begging for forgiveness: sorry’s not good enough for you, but everybody makes mistakes thats just what we do. From the opening hook good, good, good enough you’ll be singing along before you know it.
Tom: This is one of the first songs we wrote for the album so it set the tone for the rest of it ¦we knew we wanted to make an album which would put a smile on people’s face as they listened to it. This track its about a girl you’re in love with who you can’t stop being in love with.
Harry: This reminds me slightly of Obviously but a huge version of it. I like how at the start it teases the listener a bit and then by the time the chorus comes in it’s like an explosion, especially with all the harmonies.
Danny: I guess lyrically this one shows how our outlook has grown up a bit being able to say to someone,sorry’s not good enough for you, but everybody makes mistakes, that’s just what we do is something you only realise as you get a little older.
The albums big string-laden tear-jerker an anthem for the broken hearted, replete with a tinkling music box for added blub factor and a few surprise twists and turns as the song unfolds into a modern rock epic.
Harry: A bit of an epic. For me, the way this track is sung is just amazing. It just works theres a raw feel to it, emotionally and vocally, which is great.
Tom: It’s not a song which has been written from any particular experience any of us have had but that doesn’t stop it tugging at the heart-strings every time I hear it! The music box on the track I think has to be the saddest riff I’ve ever heard!
Dougie: In twenty years this will be on every petrol station power ballads compilation.
Harry: This song works well in tandem with Sorry’s Not Good Enough you can imagine the characters in Bubblewrap also being in the situation that’s in Sorry’s Not Good Enough.
One of the oddest pop songs you’ll hear this year: starts off sounding like Pink Floyd, turns into a medieval folksong, thinks for a brief moment about being a Spinal Tap song, then swerves into Queen territory.
Tom: This is Dougie’s masterpiece.
Harry: This is a bloody good song.
Dougie: It’s set in medieval times it has a very dark atmosphere and it’s about a member of the royal family falling in love with a farmboy. They plan to run away together where these things don’t matter. The verses are narrated, the bridge is the guy singing and the chorus is the crowd singing.
Danny: This would be worth having as a single, if only for the video!
The track on “Motion In The Ocean” most reminiscent of McFly’s earliest work with an added sophistication which makes it sit perfectly on this third album. With a feel close to “Obviously”, Tom begs of a lost lover: I’m so sick of being lonely, this is killing me so slowly, don’t pretend that you don’t know me.
Tom: This is the other song on the album that I wrote with James Bourne it’s a typical, back to basics McFly song which sits alongside “Unsaid Things” and “Obviously”.
Danny: This is the only song on the album which wasn’t produced by Julian and Jason for this one we went to our old producer, Steve Power, because it seemed to fit in with his style.
Tom: For those reasons it’s the most old-school McFly song on the album it’s really chilled out, though.
A bouncy, summer-scented tale of forgotten romances, in a miniature pop opera taking in influences from the Beach Boys and Queen to musical theatre all with a healthy hint of McFly!
Dougie: This song comes from around the time we locked ourselves in the flat to write for the album. The song was all over the bloody place that’s a technical musical term and I was trying to think of topics for the song. I’ve still got lizards in my room and I had all my tanks there, glowing, and the crickets were bleating. It reminded me of being on holiday and I thought summer romances are awesome. Holiday romances are always really good, aren’t they? It’s the honeymoon period and you never get bored or them, and they never get bored of you. So Tom and I sat down and spent ages on trying to paint a picture of what a holiday romance is like.
Danny: We were literally up ALL NIGHT doing the lyrics to this.
Tom: This is one of my personal favourites on the album every time it starts it makes me smile
With chugging guitars and half-rapped, half-sung vocals reminiscent of 90s rockers (this track, like most of the album, was produced by two of the band’s key members) this track sounds as is, in fact, about fighting in the street on a Friday night. As usual it is all over a girl.
Tom: “Friday Night” is a song we collaborated quite heavily with our producers for. We wanted to try something that was quite different and for the verses here they’re not actually sung, melodically, like we usually sing our verses. It’s almost a Beastie Boys-style cross between rapping and shouting. The chorus is part of another song that Danny had come up with it was actually the middle eight in the other song which is a really hooky chant that we all loved.
Harry: This is another example of one of those songs we’ve tried to do something different with there are still some really poppy moments on it, but it’s just something slightly unusual to keep things interesting.
Tom: It’s about going out with a girl at the weekend and fights kicking off all over the place. The lyrics are themed towards the script of a movie we might be giving the song to¦ But beyond that our lips are sealed, unfortunately!
…Walk In The Sun
Danny takes on solo duties for this pensive, laid-back and breezily confident meditation on life and future plans. Destined to be something of a favourite among McFlys fans, the track brilliantly showcases the bands expanding ever-changing influences and expanding horizons.
Danny: This is about being a kid. I’ve always looked at things and wondered how they work. I was probably quite an annoying kid “why is that doing that?” “Why is the sky blue?” but I just like to understand things. This song particular is just about wondering, and also wandering, in the sun. I didn’t want to write about stuff in my life AGAIN! so I went back to when I was a kid.
Tom: It’s like a chill-out track on the album it reminds me of Jack Johnson. You can imagine listening to this on a beach in Hawaii.
Danny: I wanted some pedal-steel on this track so I got a guy to come in and contribute he was so amazing that I got him to do a solo! Really unbelievable.
Tom: This is also the song you can shag to on the album.
…Home Is Where The Heart Is
Mid-tempo and deceptively low-key for the first minute, this anthem-in-waiting explodes into an arms aloft, sing-a-long terrace chant for a poignant and memorable final track.
Dougie: The emotional album-closer!
Tom: This is actually one of the older songs on the album because it was written around the second album I love it anthemic chorus.
Danny: We had Wembley Stadium in mind when we wrote this we probably should have kept it for our seventh album because the place might be bloody built by then.