Jukebox The Ghost - Everything Under The Sun
Record Label - Yep Roc Records
Release Date - Sept. 7th, 2010
Music is annoying as hell. Don’t worry, I don’t mean that in the sense of listening to it. However, to people who truly care about music (right off the bat, how do I define ‘truly care?’), it’s a constant discussion, but normally argument. Is it subjective or objective? Is so and so good or bad, is this new release up to par with the rest of their catalog, it’s always between this or that. Was that last grouping of words a sentence or a giant fragment? Am I trying to make a point or just build word count? You see, stuff like that, but with music.
It always seems bands aim to confuse in this generation. Cryptic lyrics, (bad) viral marketing, making people ‘like’ or ‘follow’ to find out the littlest of things. Nothing is ever blunt anymore. While a majority of these albums really click with people, it’s because repeated listens to a certain album searching for a connection with it will eventually find you an extremely deep one. So why do we listen if it’s really such a bittersweet type of thing? This is my theory. For every five bands coming out of the gate working the ‘confusing,’ ‘cryptic’ angle, there’s one that’s straight-forward, simple, and here’s the kicker: just as good. It’s nice to relax for a while.
Jukebox The Ghost is ‘carefree,’ ‘laidback,’ and ‘upbeat’ personified. From front to back, top to bottom, their image and music isn’t layered with meanings, stuffed with odd guitar effects, or in any way not simple. Trust me, when I say all this, I mean it in the best way possible. JTG is an extremely talented indie trio that knows where their strengths are with Everything Under The Sun, and they’re not wasting any time reinventing the wheel when they have a perfect set of tires right in front of them.
Taking clear influence from groups such as Ben Folds (Five) and Guster, the first thing that tends to stick out with Jukebox is the piano. Walking the line between top-40 material and adult contemporary, the music is infectious beyond belief. Pair that with some of the most unique dual vocals I’ve ever heard in Ben Thornewill and Tommy Siegel, and you’ve got an amazing pop rock album that goes for the jugular the first time around, and does not let go. The second single ‘Schizophrenia’ opens the album and the melodies start flying right away. The group keeps this up until the first ballad in ‘Summer Sun.’ Featuring some fantastic harmonies and shared lead vocals, this track is pristine listening on a fall night, maybe on the first date with that girl you just met at college.
The album continues, leading the listener through a few tracks that might be considered sub-par in relation to the whole album, but they’re by no means bad songs. They’re also great at making the highs seem that much higher, and such is the case with ‘So Let Us Create.’ A track that will never see radio airplay, ‘So Let Us Create’ is Thornewill at his very best. Emulating Freddie Mercury like no one’s business, if you had never heard of JTG and heard this song, your mind would immediately go to ‘Queen B-side.’
It’s tough to write a review about an album without an obvious concept or unifying theme. I’m completely against the ‘track-by-track’ review style, because it seems as dead as disco at this point. However, it was one of my only options with this album, and is singlehandedly the reason this review has taken so long. In a way, it was simple to the point that it hindered my ability to write this. Ever since I started writing reviews, I swear, I’ve just been overloaded with ironies galore that I’ve never heard of. So until I figure out a system for myself to tackle every possible roadblock I’ll have, a majority of these are going to have a closing paragraph different than most.
It’s a great album. It’s just so much fun. I have a copy in my car, and when the windows are down, I’m living out my favorite cliché and blasting this album with the wind in my hair. It transfers perfectly from summer into fall, and I get the feeling in my head it’ll hold its own even come the New Year. Easily in my top ten list this year, Jukebox The Ghost has released an album that is just so good. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, beat around the bush, or make anything more confusing than it needs to be. Go buy this album, and I’m going to go learn how to write better….more well?