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The Jealous Sound - A Gentle Reminder (Cover Artwork)

The Jealous Sound

The Jealous Sound: A Gentle ReminderA Gentle Reminder (2012)
Music is Subjective/Fontana Di

Reviewer Rating: 4
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Contributed by: DarrenMcLeodDarrenMcLeod
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It's a funny thing how different events are wired into our memories in entirely different ways. With so many of life's events, being reminded of how many years have passed is a bit of a surprise: could it really have been that long? Yet other situations--even those that occurred the same number of y.
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It's a funny thing how different events are wired into our memories in entirely different ways. With so many of life's events, being reminded of how many years have passed is a bit of a surprise: could it really have been that long? Yet other situations--even those that occurred the same number of years ago--feel like an eternity away.

Nine years is hardly an eternity, but it does feel like a significant amount of time has passed since the Jealous Sound's last full-length, 2003's Kill Them With Kindness. A long break between albums creates several problems with producing a follow-up: there is more time for expectations to build up, listeners begin to feel nostalgic about the previous album and the band often has to avoid sounding dated in a music scene that has continued to exist and change while the band's been dormant. So, how did the Jealous Sound fare?

It sounds like the band didn't miss a step, really.

The aptly named A Gentle Reminder picks up where Kill Them With Kindness left off, not straying too far from the Midwest emo/indie sound that defined the band on their debut full-length but still refining it along the way. As one might expect from a group that has aged nine years, the band has lost a portion of its aggression and anger, settling for a perhaps calmer disposition and outlook. Gone are songs like "Naļve" and "Does That Make Sense" where frontman Blair Shehan's voice seemed to hurl itself at the microphone, replaced by more of the tempered, contained tunes and vocals found on the band's 2008 EP Got Friends.

Shehan's lyrics are as deceptively simple as ever, offering colorful descriptions and wonderful imagery as he softly sings lines like "It was a beautiful morning / I got stuck in my driveway / My breath condensed on the window / I wrote a message to myself that only I would know" on the opening track "Beautiful Morning." Many of the lyrics on this album are, as one might expect, not-so-subtle nods to the band's downtime and the decision to return to recording and touring. The positivity and optimism of these songs is conveyed not only by lyrics, but also in the sharp, sunny melodies that pervade the disc.

Though the album certainly meets expectations, a minor flaw of the disc is that it meets them a bit too well. Even though it sounds like the band hasn't missed a step, it also sounds almost too similar to previous efforts. Really, a lot of these songs sound as if they were a sort of middle ground between Kill Them With Kindness and the poppier, lighter Got Friends. Still, it's difficult to criticize the familiarity of A Gentle Reminder when it's one of the things that makes it so instantly endearing, and when so few bands can do it this well.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
soulbleed (February 12, 2012)

this record is ridiculously easy to listen to. tracks 2, 3, and 7 are my favorite but the whole disc is great. i missed this band a lot.

theproblemwithfire (February 6, 2012)

"TheProblemWithFire is that it has shit for ears. I don't possibly see how you can possibly say they are hookless. Your criticism and given examples are just silly and make it sound like you haven't bothered to listen to the record at all."

And you have shit for eyes. Or shit in your eyes. Read what I wrote again...I said the hooks aren't memorable or worthwhile, not that there weren't hooks on this. And no, I haven't heard the entire album. I've only heard about 3/4 of it a couple times and a lot of their previous stuff. Is that enough to form an opinion? Do you have to listen to every band's album fully to get the gist whether or not you like it?

And also to the dork below: Not everyone likes this, and even if they did that doesn't really mean anything or sway my opinion.

EchosMyron (February 5, 2012)

This band isn't hookless per say, but all of their hooks come across as generic and stiff. Not good.

BikeMordy (February 3, 2012)

Say what you will about The Jealous Sound but Knapsack's "This Conversation Is Ending Starting Right Now" is one of the best indie rock records of the 90s. And they were contemporaries of Jimmy Eat World so...it makes sense. Regardless, everyone disagrees with you.

Blackjaw_ (February 3, 2012)

I like Knapsack but I can't get into this band.

baldsteve (February 3, 2012)

TheProblemWithFire is that it has shit for ears. I don't possibly see how you can possibly say they are hookless. Your criticism and given examples are just silly and make it sound like you haven't bothered to listen to the record at all.

PaulPendley (February 3, 2012)

This record is flawless.

slymer (February 3, 2012)

Excellent album, but not as good as their first full length. I agree with Scott Heisel's review. The songs kind of all run together, and never really change tempo.

theproblemwithfire (February 3, 2012)

"That's the guy from Knapsack. Show some respect."

Why does this keep coming up? Did it ever occur to you or anyone else that (surprise!) not everyone cared for Knapsack? Not only do I think TJS is lame, I think Knapsack was pretty lame too.

I don't get the buzz... these guys sound like what Jimmy Eat World would sound like if they couldn't write a worthwhile or memorable hook and wanted to be played on lite FM radio rock between The Fray and Train.

baseball (February 3, 2012)

Best thing they've put out. "Here Comes The Ride" and "Waiting For Your Arrival" are instant classics in their discog. Such great lyrics that mesh so well with every song.

eatdogs (February 3, 2012)

i agree with ya baldsteve. oh, and that small/small 23 music you sent me is awesome.

badbrain (February 3, 2012)

great album

moistphily (February 3, 2012)

Loving this. "Here Comes The Ride" is such a beautifully heartbreaking song.

baldsteve (February 3, 2012)

I love this thing (as expected).

ifyoumakeit (February 3, 2012)

The singer sounds different.

Sho-Nuff (February 3, 2012)

Perfect

flowerfeeder (February 3, 2012)

Change You is a great song. like this a lot.

I find it sounds a lot like Sense Field and Hey Mercedes in spots.

mystereohasmono (February 3, 2012)

I grew up on emo (I wanted to listen to Filter and Vertical Horizon without listening to those bands) and this is a great record.

oldpunkerforever (February 3, 2012)

Nice little suprise this here CD, I am enjoying this-oldpunker-

wyld_stallyns_rule (February 3, 2012)

This is a really good album. I don't think I've listened to The Jealous Sound/ Knapsack in about eight years, but this was great. Time to dig out the old records.

renaldo69 (February 3, 2012)

they toned up the alternative sound...not bad

BikeMordy (February 3, 2012)

Punk lite? That's the guy from Knapsack. Show some respect.

Rival Schools latest album is way toned down but it's amazing. Better to be honest than try and be a punk that you're not anymore.

theproblemwithfire (February 3, 2012)

This just sounds like lite-rock for people who grew up on emo but want to listen to Filter and Vertical Horizon without listening to those bands.

Also, the singer looks like the guy from the Hills Have Eyes. Just saying.

MN_DrNick (February 3, 2012)

This was my first time listening to the Jealous Sound. This is really good.

EchosMyron (February 3, 2012)

Did the artist behind Three Wolf Moon draw that cover?

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