The Junior League “Also Rans”
Joe Adragna (aka The Junior League) continues to produce excellent music year after year and this new album is no exception. The Junior League has more of a retro-sound to start with Also Rans, as the title track is a shimmering janglefest that’s a little like a jam between The Zombies and REM. And although there is lots of great power pop, its got plenty of stylistic variety.
The sound of producer Scott McCaughey’s (Minus 5) influence is pronounced on the mid-tempo gem “The Stars In Our Eyes.” Then the catchy “Before You Go” has a great hook that doesn’t let go and it leads to the sweet “Please (I Need You To Go)” with its bouncy tempo. We then shift to a modern expansive sound on “On/Off” including a synth piano added by Sloan’s Jay Ferguson, and this approach follows through on the slower “Broken and Mine.” Joe goes light (“Disappearing Act”) and heavy (“If its You”) and you’ll find not a single note of filler. Highly Recommended. Also Rans comes with a 5 song bonus disc and is scheduled for CD release on October 2, exclusively at Kool Kat Musik.
Seth Timbs “New Personal Record”
Seth Timbs (Fluid Ounces) has been quietly releasing albums of melodic magic over the last several years, and his latest “New Personal Record” is a testament to his resiliency. “Give Up On Your Dreams” is a brilliant piano melody that stands alongside the great Harry Nilsson’s work. On the rollicking “Uneasy Street” he pounds away on the keys and the strutting melody of “Fill It Up” shows Timbs at his most energetic.
“Cliche” is a piano bar ballad about the worn-out musician who was once a “hot prospect,” but the slow building drama of “Far Away From Here” is a brilliant heartbreak song of a wanted man sending his love away to shield her from the law. The guitar solo here is very moving and makes this one of my favorite on the album.
Seth doesn’t stay in the dumps too long, as “Ugly” is an awkward come-on that turns into a joyful dance, and a statement of self confidence. We end with the Flamenco tempo of “The Thing About Time” and I’m glad to offer this album to you as highly recommended.
Bonus supplement: I’ve contributed to the 50thirdand3rd blog with an overview of Seth Timbs and Fluid Ounces entire career.