Jukebox the Ghost
-Album Reviewed by Betsy Allee–
Don’t let the simple dimensions of their adorable logo fool you, Jukebox the Ghost is a seasoned band. The extent of their experience is apparent in their fourth, self-titled album Jukebox the Ghost, released on Oct 21, 2014. This snappy collection of twelve songs layer rich instrumental arrangements with meaningful melodies, reflecting the band’s thoughtful development and commitment to their music. Dedicated fans will not be disappointed, and new listeners will be glad to get acquainted.
The field between indie rock and top hits is crowded with talented performers. Jukebox the Ghost aptly navigates the euphonious crowd with a hybrid of familiar influence and fresh energy. The trio, comprised of lead singer, Ben Thornewill, guitarist and vocalist, Tommy Siegel, and drummer, Jesse Kristin, establish a unique signature with an array of catchy rhythms and lively lyrics. Their sound echoes Toad and the Wet Sprocket, fusing fun upbeat tones, with a pinch of seriousness. The resultant medley is a delectable repertoire of embracing vibes well-suited for welcoming guests to a backyard BBQ, happy hour, or an intimate evening on the beach. Jukebox the Ghost is the “band next door”, likely to arrive at the party in time to kick off the 2015 summer soundtrack.
The music video for The Great Unknown, released as a single in June, depicts an auspicious, autobiographical journey. Three loyal companions pack their keyboard and catching song into a van. Leaving home for a road trip, they promptly unfold a map and head out West. The images of the long road, the prairies, and dramatic coastline seem cliché, but the Big Sur, California scenery blends with optimistic libretto, granting an authentic and relevant quality to this group’s grand path. Anyone harboring dreams for the future will hear encouragement in the falsetto hook promising the freedom to “let go.” The reality TV show So You Think You Can Dance used the song in a montage this past summer, and the debut release quickly became an effective inspirational anthem. The song’s delicate intro can also be heard accenting a movie trailer for, The Judge. As one fan notes in the YouTube comments, “This would be perfect as a graduation song.”
The infectious “ooh, ooh” riffs in the album’s opening track, Sound of a Broken Heart, the jazzy sequence in Hollywood, and the sinewy ballad, Undeniable You, showcase the group’s dynamic sound and unleash Thornewell’s powerful vocals. Likewise, Girl, a sweet combination of pleasing serenade and complementary piano strokes, stands out for its charm and chart climbing potential.
Made for Ending and The One express relationship conundrums. In the former, “I should have known” Jukebox sings, focusing on the emotions that complicate the “break-up” stage. Next, “I don’t want to be the one” they chant, demonstrating a matter-of-fact reluctance to commit. Both songs incorporate a techno blend and club beat ripe enough for an Avicii remix. Long Way Home, on the other hand combines elegance and lovely crescendos, earning the track honorable mention as the alternative to the album’s high-energy tempos and gripping chorales. The notes projected within the single syllable of the word “home” resound with both longing and comfort…
Time will reveal how the harmonious tributes to relationships and perseverance manifest for Jukebox the Ghost, but the steadfastness of their message is clear; whatever “the great unknown holds,” this band aims to keep the music full of passion and to sound off from the rooftops. Singing “there’s a thousand voices saying, the time is now!” is a self-empowering lyric and a rallying cry for the band’s success.
Post Photo Courtesy of: www.jukeboxtheghost.com