Reviews

Bleachers “Bleachers” Album Review

Bleachers

The best of New Jersey, Bleachers, release their fourth studio album of the same name after landing a big record contract with Dirty Hit.

Pop mogul and frontman Jack Antonoff manages to make this most recent release somewhat experimental while honoring the romanticism of classic John Hughes films and Bruce Springsteen’s eighties rock influences. With Bleachers, their most recent album, the band steadfastly adheres to what their fans adore and find most appealing about the American rock group.

With its reverberating melodies and Bruce Springsteen-like saxophone solos, “Bleachers” is a demanding and well-rounded record. The theme and sound design remain consistent, however aside from some little experimentation that could be considered blah and overdone, there isn’t much room for variation.

Though it stays constant and repetitive, “Modern Girl” and the co-written songs mostly have standout moments. Although it is stiff and a little bland, the album features six performers who are showcasing their abilities and stapling themselves as brilliant. Their earlier work seems more entertaining for what may have been a designated era for Bleachers.

As a record, “Bleachers” represents the band’s full-fledged transition from solo vocal to its current state of ensemble unity—a group of six very gifted musicians embarking on their most significant period to date.

Album Cover Art

Bleachers &Quot;Bleachers&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, April 12, 2024

Rocking a simple t-shirt tucked into his well-ironed pants, Jack Antonoff poses outside what appears to be his home, leaning against his vintage Chevy and waving to the cam while wearing a smile and his signature sneakers.

Tracks and Features

With its building percussion and synth tones and layered echoes of Antonoff’s voice, “I Am Right On Time” masterfully establishes the mood for the record and sets the stage for “Modern Girl,” which is the lead single. The song is still as catchy as when it was first released in 2023, combining infectious sax with high-energy drumming, looping guitar riffs, and seductive sax.

“Tiny Moves” does a fantastic job of carrying on the upbeat and satisfying vibe created by “Modern Girl.”Among the album’s fourteen tracks, “Tiny Moves” stands out as a standout because it has Bleachers’ trademark eighties synths in a slightly distorted way. The song has crisp riffs and a more Americanized taste of Springsteen influence, which is typical of Sam Fender’s songs.

The song “Alma Mater,” which features none other than Antonoff’s longtime collaborator Lana Del Rey, chooses to use the album’s recurring layered echoing vocals. It intensifies the electronic, eighties-style elements that are also explored in other parts of the album, such as in the songs “Jesus Is Dead” and “Call Me After Midnight.”

Numerous tracks on the album, such as “Isimo” and “Woke Up Today,” include lively acoustic strings. Antonoff alludes to the creative beginnings of “Steel Train,” his first band from more than ten years ago that served as his entry point into the music business. With its melancholic notes and lyrical, sweet nothings, “Isimo” works well as a love ballad for Antonoff’s wife, Margaret Qualley. It’s the kind of love song that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Bleachers have established a brand identity. “Self Respect” is one of the album’s standout tracks. This song features Antonoff’s accompaniment as well as co-writing by none other than Florence Welch, the ethereal goddess. The breathy vocals threaded throughout and the synthy rhythm akin to Florence and The Machine’s “Free” make it sound a lot like Jack’s work on Dance Fever. The song “Self Respect” is given a fascinating auditory quality by the saxophone’s vibrant finale.

Album Theme

Themes of love, loss, grief, contentment, marriage, and adulthood recur in Antonoff’s novel “Bleachers.” These themes are largely drawn from his own thoughts and experiences, which were shaped by his connection with his wife, his sister’s death, difficult relationships, and childhood trauma.

Production Credits

Jack Antonoff, Lana Del Rey & Patrik Berger produced the album.

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