Antonoff uses spoken word samples, sound effects, saxophone solos, guest vocalists, and repetition of lyrics that both make and break the album. Gone Now features Lorde on “Don’t Take The Money” and Carly Rae Jepsen on “Hate That You Know Me” these guest vocals add dimension and harmony to the songs that work very strongly in Antonoff’s favor. I personally enjoy the repetition of lyrics because I think that it brings an emphasis to the theme while tying together loose ends, however, I personally know people, and other critics, that think that this is annoying and unnecessary. To each their own, right? While spoken word and sound effects are interesting and welcomed in “Dream of Mickey Mantle”, as the album progresses some of the spoken word and sound effects can be ultimately distracting and noisy.
My main criticisms of the album are the songs “Goodbye” and “I’m Ready To Move On/Mickey Mantle Reprise”. Although I enjoy them independently, musically they do not feel like they belong on this specific album. Both songs are lyrically important to the narrative driving the album, however, musically they break the album apart and detract from the cohesive 80’s vibe that Antonoff is so well-known for. Antonoff has been producing with several other artists, including Lorde and Taylor Swift, and I believe that those collaborations are what led to the spillover of genres. With that said, I strongly commend Antonoff for taking this creative risk, as it is difficult for an artist to branch into new musical territory. Normally, I do like it when artists break the barrier of genres - however, in this case it is simply distracting and therefore unintentionally interferes with the narrative.
Out of all the songs on the album “All My Heroes” is my go-to track. I thoroughly enjoy the instrumentals, and the unpredictable percussion that live in this song; these nuances can help reinforce the narrative of a song and really turn it into something special. The lyrics of this song are also beautiful and can influence a change of emotion. The song starts of somewhat pessimistically with the line, “All my heroes got tired, and all the days, they got short”, but as it proceeds a new outlook takes place when Antonoff states, “When all your heroes get tired, I’ll be something better yet” which leads to strong dynamic changes in the track that represent a change in self and a new motivation. Throughout his career, Antonoff has consistently written songs about wanting to get better, from Steel Train’s “Better Love” to Fun.’s “Walking the Dog” to Bleacher’s hit single “I Wanna Get Better” there has been a theme of striving to be his best self, and I believe that it shows in his music and all of his accomplishments over the years.
The album is filled with catchy singles including, “Don’t Take the Money”, “Everybody Lost Somebody”, and “Hate That You Know Me”. Throughout these songs Antonoff maintains his ability to keep the energy up while discussing about somewhat depressing topics in his songs. I strongly encourage you give this album a listen.
Bleachers - Gone Now
Release Date: June 2, 2017
Review by: Julie Pavlacka
Bleacher’s sophomore album, Gone Now, is full of bold and poppy sing-a-long’s that fans can easily relate to. Jack Antonoff, singer, songwriter, and producer behind Bleachers, is well-versed in creating upbeat pop songs - he’s been making music since he was “sixteen in a van driving [himself] to Florida”. Throughout his career in Steel Train, FUN., and Bleachers, Antonoff has been able to bring complex ideas and emotions to pop music.
Gone Now is more than just a collection of pop songs, the songs build off of each other and the narrative behind the album becomes clearer when listening to it from front to back. While the album is conceptually cohesive, Antonoff experiments with different sounds throughout the album which both, enhance and clash with his 80’s-Pop sound.