Flying Machines: Pop With A Price Tag

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The New York pop band Flying Machines has more going for it than its ridiculously catchy single, "On a Whim." Signed to a first-of-its-kind "new music enterprise partnership" with Yahoo and Universal Television Networks, the band has risked overexposure, as the song has been used heavily in promotions for the TV show Psych, among other enterprises. The group has even contracted to promote Fender Musical Instruments while on tour.

Wednesday's Pick

  • Song: "On a Whim"
  • Artist: Flying Machines
  • CD: The Flying Machines
  • Genre: Pop-Rock
Flying Machines i

For all its ubiquity in commercials, Flying Machines' "On a Whim" is a perfect pop-rock song. Simon Biswas hide caption

toggle caption Simon Biswas
Flying Machines

For all its ubiquity in commercials, Flying Machines' "On a Whim" is a perfect pop-rock song.

Simon Biswas

Setting aside the implications of Flying Machines' arrangement for the corporate future of pop music, "On a Whim" works wonderfully without the commercial packaging — it's the sort of rare track that, for all its ubiquity, never grows tiresome. The swaggering, instantly addictive melody captures a quintessential quality of rock, with a percussive bass line that meshes perfectly with lead singer William Ryan George's flamboyant vocals.

"On a Whim" could just as well have been the result of a collaboration between Freddie Mercury and The Strokes' Albert Hammond Jr., with a timeless sound that could have come from any era. It's worth hearing over and over, no matter what it's selling.

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