Starting Line Direction

There’s something kind of depressing about listening to this record. The Starting Line released a sweetly endearing debut with the ultra-poppy Say It Like You Mean It, a shamelessly lovelorn collection of adult-contemporary ballads disguised as pop punk songs. Then came their major label debut, an ultra-awkward collection of tracks about boning, and now here’s Direction, their response to the failure of "the boning record.” An utterly worthless collection of boring pseudo-rock, there isn’t one worthwhile hook on this whole record. This most likely means the band spent more time doing coke than writing actual songs, which is too bad because the singer is only 23 and so sprightly looking. (Virgin)