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06:37 PM on 04/27/14
#2
Craig Manning
Down in Jungleland
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I dig the album but I can find no kinship with "Need a Little Sunshine" and "Love is in the Air." They both ring hollow to me. Album gets crazy good on the back half, which Layus seems to have a fondness for.

I'm only on listen #4, so maybe they'll make a turnabout.

Also, it's never a good thing when an artist alienates all his band members on a consistent basis, album after album. Despite what the liner notes say, I'm hoping each instance was creative differences and not something more sinister.

Oh, and "Youth is Wasted" is one of the best songs he's ever written.
Admittedly, those two are probably my least favorite on the album. They're definitely lighter weight, fluffier stuff compared to the best songs on here. I just like the throwback atmosphere of those two, especially "Love in the Air." But yeah, the back half is where this thing really takes off.

I got the sense from Jonathan's interview that they parted on fairly amicable terms, but it's always hard to know for sure, and it definitely seems a bit fishy when everyone else decides to leave at once. I'd be interested to hear their sides of the story.

"Youth is Wasted" is a great song, and a terrific choice as one of the pre-release singles. I've always been more fond of Layus's ballads ("Sunday Best," "Twenty Years," and "Remember Me" are probably three of my top five Augustana songs), but still.
08:48 PM on 04/27/14
#3
Craig Manning
Down in Jungleland
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You nailed it with "Sunday Best" and "Twenty Years."

Hot damn! That's about as good as it gets right there.
"Twenty Years" just gets me every time. Man, what a song.
04:23 PM on 04/28/14
#4
Craig Manning
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Bought this and Ingrid Michaelson this week, your reviews are shaping my musical tastes. I'm a sucker for a well-written pop tune!

Haha, glad I could help!

real nice review. album's great, gets better every listen.

"Alive" finally clicked for me over the weekend. I had gotten so attached to the stripped down live version (I even cover it) that I wasn't ready for the bells and whistles. It's a really great song.

I didn't listen to the live version a lot before this came out, so that might be why I had no problem falling in love with the new version. But I think they're both great.

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