Hot Chelle Rae

Before Hot Chelle Rae “fueled up the Jeep with bubbly elasti-funk and breezy hip-hop swagger” (as Entertainment Weekly put it) with their brand new single “I Like It Like That,” the Nashville-based quartet scored a bonafide breakthrough smash hit over the last several months with “Tonight Tonight.”

With its once-heard-never purged melody, “la la la” refrain, and sly references to Zach Galifinakis, the song is a shameless crowd-pleaser. Hot Chelle Rae’s time has arrived with the band’s new album, WHATEVER — an unstoppable fireball of radio-ready tunes that finds them embracing who they really are: a band unabashedly in love with pop music.

Through it all, the band keeps the melodies sleek, the harmonies tight, and the performances solid on WHATEVER, whose title is a playfully ironic comment on the hard work that went into writing and recording it. In early 2012 they will headline a tour across the United States before heading to Australia for a March arena tour with Taylor Swift, where they are sure to win over even more new admirers.