Bleachers - Gone Now
Bleachers is the solo project of fun. band member Jack Antonoff. This his second album, Gone Now, under the Bleachers banner is drenched in nostalgia and built with one thing in mind: hooks. Antonoff has worked with quite a few people in the pop game as a producer and those instincts have found their way on to this record. Many tracks feel like they were built around choruses, like single "I Hate That You Know Me" which is almost just one big hook with little much change. The music is also heavily 80s influenced complete with plenty of saxophone and even a few call and response moments. What you really notice about the record is just how much all of it is. Antonoff throws so much emotion, and so much music at the wall that the results could never be anything but super sappy. Yet Bleachers never sound like Antonoff is being disingenuous, it's actually quite the opposite you really can tell He believes every word of what He writes. The rub though is whether or not you actually connect with his words and this time around He just seems to miss the mark. "Let's Get Married" is just such a cheesy line that is repeated over and over. Antonoff is so obsessed with love on this record which let's be honest in one way or another all albums are, but He drills down on it so hard that you are just sick of hearing about it.
Production really is an essential piece on this album creating a really great and really distinct vibe. "Goodbye" is a rehash of the song "Goodmorning" changed into a hand clapping piano stomper, but it is the really intricate production that stands out. Antonoff includes Lena Dunham (his girlfriend) speaking about her struggles on "Goodbye" which is totally odd and clunky. That is one of the major things you notice on this record; for every interesting or great decision Antonoff makes He also chooses to do something that falls wildly flat. The first half of the album sounds like Antonoff is really trying to harness some Bruce Springsteen energy almost to the point of imitation but that falls away for a more stylized sound later on. Because the record tends to be uneven you find yourself getting distracted and at times with a real lack of giving a shit. The upright piano pop song just can't carry a full album like Antonoff is trying to do here. Not a terrible record, but very little to get excited to come back to.
5.9 out of 10