Various Punk Goes Pop Vol. 2

If you've ever wanted confirmation that the current wave of screamo, dance-core, crunk-core and whatever-core bands are basically writing Top 40-ready pop songs and dressing them in triple rectifiers, growls and breakdowns just toss in the latest insanely superficial compilation by Fearless Records, Punk Goes Pop Vol. 2. A few of these songs are great regardless of instrumentation, so the highlights of the record include Alesana's version of Timberlake monster "What Goes Around" and Bayside's tasteful doo-wop take on man-boy Sean Kingston's summer hit "Beautiful Girls." There are a few insane choices on this record, particularly Chiodos inexplicably (and sloppily) covering "Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger. It's great to see some of the bands taking the songs in different directions and getting creative with their task, and extra credit goes to Mayday Parade for taking the pile of shit "When I Grow Up" by the Pussycat Dolls and making the chorus even catchier and infinitely more awesome than the original. As much as this record is a physical representation that kids in the punk and hardcore scene are being taken advantage of now more than ever, it's really fun to laugh at with a few friends. These compilations are equal parts frustrating and entertaining. (Fearless)