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Jets To Brazil - Perfecting Loneliness (Cover Artwork)

Jets To Brazil

Jets To Brazil: Perfecting LonelinessPerfecting Loneliness (2002)
Jade Tree Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: HueyHuey
(others by this writer | submit your own)

There are many facts established in the world of independent music. One of them is that Blake Schwarzenbach is a genius. That's quite clear. After emotional-punk gods Jawbreaker called it quits in 1996, Schwarzenbach sat around for a bit. In 1997, he resurfaced with a new project: the unpredictable,.
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There are many facts established in the world of independent music. One of them is that Blake Schwarzenbach is a genius. That's quite clear. After emotional-punk gods Jawbreaker called it quits in 1996, Schwarzenbach sat around for a bit. In 1997, he resurfaced with a new project: the unpredictable, and varied Jets To Brazil.

That year brought the band's debut Jade Tree release, Orange Rhyming Dictionary. It was a jet of fresh air in the indie scene, presenting a vast array of post-punk brilliance, a lot of rock across the board, and the usual pop influence. This was not Jawbreaker my friends. This was a new era for Blake and his new band-bates (Jeremy Chatelain, Chris Daly), but nonetheless, it was a flawless record that ruled in every possible way.

2000 brought us Four Cornered Night. The band added another guitarist, Bryan Maryansky. Featuring a larger pop sound, with hints of country and folk, this album took a lot of people by surprise, and even scared a good amount of Blake & co's fans (old and new) away. Four Cornered Night was the start of something new for the band, and while it certainly wasn't up to par with their debut, it still had a selection of great moments. However, it had its fair share of mediocrity as well. At this point, no one had a clue where this band was going.

It's now the year 2002. It's been a rather good year for music, far better than 2001. There have been a lot of great indie records, and even a slew of brilliant mainstream releases as well. The Jets announced that a new record would be released in mid October, entitled Perfecting Loneliness. So, here am I in mid December, playing the record again, and collecting my thoughts. Where do I stand on this, the third installment in the band's career?

1) The Frequency: This is where the record starts off. A really nice upbeat rocker, which brings you back to the days of Orange Rhyming Dictionary. The Frequency is a superb way to start off the record.

2) You're The One I Want: This takes us into poppier waters, but that's not bad by any means. A catchy little number about a lost love. As you scroll through the lyrics up to this point, you notice that Blake's writing is as lengthy as ever, throwing in more of a story telling element, while inserting the usual Blake-isms (metaphors) here and there. I'm content, so far.

3) Cat Heaven: This is a really beautiful song. The presence of the piano (provided by Blake) really brings this one together. At this point, you see just how tight this band is musically. Schwarzenbach plays so many instruments on this record that you could go ahead and call him one of the front runners for the title of "the indie Thom Yorke". Christopher Daly's drums are right on target, while Jeremy Chatelain's bass rings in the background nicely. As a guitar duo, Schwarzenbach and Maryansky are pure gold. As I get back on track, after the wonderful Cat Heaven, we move into the album's title track...

4) Perfecting Loneliness: Back into rock mode, the title track comes on, and presents itself as one of my favorite songs on the album. Schwarzenbach's lyrics are incredible on this one especially, displaying that he still does have the power to write an incredible song.

5) Lucky Charm: Wondrous piano and keyboard effects, etc continue the trend of this being a really good album (so far). A great Summer love song, filled with Schwarzenbach's usual reflective, yet heartbreaking crooning.

6) Wish List: The acoustic guitar really kicks in here. The writing starts to diversify, as Schwarzenbach steps into discussion of his family, the hard times presented with being a writer, etc. Variety is good. The chorus is insanely catchy. I'm down with this song.

7) Psalm: Here's your token religious song, but it works really well here. Another beautiful tune, as it is quite apparent that this album is Blake's mid-life reflection (Hey, he's only in his 30's). This is a guy who has certainly had an interesting life, and it's nice to see the extremely wide variety of writing on this record. Some of it isn't as strong as it once was, but at times on this record, Schwarzenbach's lyrics are at his absolute best. Psalm isn't an exception.

8) Autumn Walker: Another one of my favorites off the disc. No complaints here. Simply put, Autumn Walker rules.

9) Further North: Here we go with the acoustics again. Not a problem. This was one of the first songs I heard off the record, and I was immediately floored by it's genius perfection. "Everything here is about to break / I'm one inch from more than I can take / And it's beautiful and sad / But it's all that I have." How could you not fall in love with lines like that?

10) William Tell Override: Not one of my favorites on the record, but it's not bad. This is where I begin to become a bit weary about the album, and that status continues on to the next song...

11) Disgrace: What happened? I was completely floored by the first nine tracks of this record, and I can tolerate William Tell Override, but all the sudden out of left field comes this enormous political rocker titled Disgrace. I just can't get into the lyrics here, and the nearly two minute grungy-rock outro jam is ridiculous. Blake, what happened? You had me hooked. This song screams "Filler." And that's exactly what this song is, filler. We've faded into mediocrity.

12) Rocket Boy: But what's this? Rejuvenation? I believe so, and it comes with the epic 9:43 masterpiece that is the album's closer, Rocket Boy. Easily one of the best songs Schwarzenbach has ever written, filled with beauty and despair, this is the perfect way to close out the record. I said it when this record came out, and I'll say it again: "Rocket Boy is to Jets To Brazil, as Bivouac was to Jawbreaker." A wonderful closer.

So, there it is. Overall, it's a great record, one of my ten favorites of the year, but it could have been so much more. At times the record drags on a bit (especially with Disgrace), as most of the songs are at least five minutes, but it's not too big of a problem for me, because this band truly does know how to play a collection of epic beauty. I just wish the whole rock feel would die off. If I want to rock, I will put in my old Jawbreaker records, or even Orange Rhyming Dictionary. But the epic feel that most of these songs present, just doesn't fit with the whole rock gig.

I really like the direction this band is going in, and I have a feeling that their next record could be a piece of genius. The genius is planted here, in most of the tracks, but a few mediocre songs spoil it in the end. It's better than Four Cornered Night, but it's not better than Orange Rhyming Dictionary. We're getting there though. The problem about Perfecting Lonelines is at one moment it is perfect, but at the next it's extremely un-even. Obviously, Blake and his band are still developing their sound, and I'm truly intrigued as to where these guys are going in the future. This record is worthy of a listen, but then again, so is everything else Schwarzenbach has done. Give Perfecting Loneliness a chance. If you let it grow on you, it's worth it in the end, just to hear some of the beauty that parts of this record display.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Jawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyJets To Brazil - Orange Rhyming DictionaryJets to Brazil - Four Cornered NightJawbreaker - Dear YouJawbreaker - BivouacDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeOperation Ivy - Operation IvyJawbreaker - UnfunJawbreaker - Etc.The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told

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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.
AnEpicProblem (April 5, 2010)

Mandatory 5 stars for a Jets to Brazil release. Reviewer can get fucked.

chadreligion (November 1, 2009)

(I'm surprised more people have not made any comment on this album)
First, why do so many people bitch about this band not sounding like Jawbreaker? Did you guys listen to the other records, this being the third in the Jets To Brazil trilogy? You should not have been surprised. Jets To Brazil pretty much had their own sound by then.
This album is amazing... every track seems like part of a story, and each has it's own tone of sort, with a sheer dash of poetry and prose, ala Blake.
This record will make you laugh, cry, reminisce, feel loss, feel hope, among other emotions. The title track has some of the best lyrics ever.
Suggestive Tracks: Your The One I Want, Wishlist, Rocket Boy, Psalm, and Cat Heaven.
Score is for the album as a whole.

Anonymous (January 8, 2003)

answered my own question.

Anonymous (January 8, 2003)

will someone just answer a question for a person not too familiar w/ this band.
is JTB a spin-off from the guys of Jawbreaker?

thanks

Anonymous (January 7, 2003)

"Now if the Jets and Bad Astronaut could tour together, that would be the greatest night of my life. But it's not like any of these bands tour in the first place..."
now that would be cool, but i wouldnt mind if bad astronaut couldn't make it
the[]muffin[]girl

Anonymous (January 5, 2003)

wow i really hate yr review. =D

maverick (January 3, 2003)

Biggest disappointment of 2002, right here.

-Scott

bruceless (January 1, 2003)

Now if the Jets and Bad Astronaut could tour together, that would be the greatest night of my life. But it's not like any of these bands tour in the first place...

Anonymous (December 31, 2002)

this album is great, people fail to realize Jawbreaker is no more and Blake is not around the 15-20 age range like a lot of people the bash this record.

I think its great, I loved Jawbreaker and the other 2 JTB albums but this one is truly great. I like it a lot.

bruceless (December 31, 2002)

This hits my opinion of this record very well, other than my very fanboyish link with the album - it is hands down my favorite album of 2002. I could very comfortably use this review but with a score of ten, but that may be because I am not a writer. I do, however, appreciate that this is, in my opinion, Blake Schwarzencbach's finest album and it is simply beautiful. I could go without the rock songs, the title track as well as 10 and 11, but regardless, I love this album and I have not put it down since its release. Thank god there's music out there for me.

Anonymous (December 31, 2002)

its a toss up for me between "Four Cornered" and this one for fav Jets record. This was one has some insanely good moments like the reviewer said. Rocket boy and Autumn Walker are beatiful displays of songwriting. Wow

Anonymous (December 31, 2002)

Whoops, I thought this was the Foo Fighter review.

-sickboi

Anonymous (December 31, 2002)

The Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age are pretty much the only good rock bands left.

-sickboi

Anonymous (December 31, 2002)

pretty much my exact opinion of the record. I like it all but william tell and disgrace.

wyzo

Anonymous (December 31, 2002)

orange rhyming dictionary came out in 1998, not 1997.

Anonymous (December 31, 2002)

i don't think it's so much that they're developing "their sound" as they're trying new things. i'm sure they could have come out and released ORD over and over, but what's the fun in that? each one of their records has been very different, but that's what keeps it interesting.

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