Album Review: Hot Chelle Rae, 'Whatever'

80 Billboard Rating

HOT CHELLE RAE
"Whatever"
Producers: various
RCA Records
Release Date: Nov. 29

Nashville pop-rock group Hot Chelle Rae has friends in high places. Singer Ryan Follese and drummer Jamie Follese are the sons of country songwriter Keith Follese, while guitarist Nash Overstreet's older brother, Chord, stars on "Glee." And on "Whatever," its sophomore disc, Hot Chelle Rae gets an assist from Demi Lovato in "Why Don't You Love Me," a midtempo power ballad not unlike Lovato and Joe Jonas' duet from "Camp Rock." (Los Angeles teen-rap also-rans New Boyz turn up, too, in opener "I Like It Like That" - though they're probably benefiting more from the collab than Hot Chelle Rae is.) You can hear the result of all those showbiz connections in the radio-ready economy of high-sheen hook bombs like "Keep You With Me" and "Tonight Tonight," the latter of which reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year. Put it this way: The guys of Hot Chelle Rae probably aren't lacking for people willing to tell them to hurry up and get to the chorus.

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