Indie darlings disappoint in comeback effort

By Monique Clarke |Staff Writer|

After a long and drawn-out hiatus, Indie rock mavens The Jealous Sound are back with A Gentle Reminder.

The band’s smooth and benign sound can be compared to acts such as Snow Patrol, Jimmy Eat World and Jim Adkins.

They went on a nine-year hiatus in 2003 shortly after releasing their debut album Kill Them with Kindness, which got rave reviews.

After releasing a warmly received digital only EP Got Friends in 2008, the hype surrounding their long-awaited full-length album was steadily growing.

The album, A Gentle Reminder, has finally been released, but it wasn’t worth the nine-year wait.

Fans who have been waiting years for the band to release a proper comeback album may be disappointed with A Gentle Reminder. It consists of 10 tracks that can only be described as OK.

The album had the potential to be good but it is not as breathtaking as Kill Them with Kindness was.

A Gentle Reminder is very mellow and lacks movement. The tempo stays consistent from track to track.

If a few songs were more upbeat with a little change now and then, the album would’ve probably been more successful.

There aren’t a lot of different rhythms in the songs to tell them apart from one another. Lead singer and guitarist Blair Shehan’s vocals don’t stand out on some of the tracks, they just blend into the music.

The song “Change You” is probably the only one that works with Shehan’s limited vocal delivery.

This is unfortunate for someone who prefers to listen to the lyrics and are unable to. Songs such as “Promise of the West” and “This Is Where It Starts,” represent two tracks that could have some of the best melodies on the album but are unfortunatly rendered useless due to improper vocal delivery.

During the stand out track “Beautiful Morning,”  Shehan yells from the top of his lungs in an immediate and welcome departure from the tone of the rest of the album.

To his credit, Shehan has a great knack of writing about the mundane to create an imaginative atmosphere, which is also illustrated in the song.

“It was a beautiful morning / I was stuck in the driveway,” Shehan croons, “My breath condensed on the window / I wrote a message to myself.”

The Jealous Sound is a promising band with all the components necessary to produce a great record yet A Gentle Reminder just doesn’t live up to expectations.

The bands guitarist Pedro Benito, bassist Nate Mendel and drummer Bob Penn do their best to give a great performance, but vocalist Shehan seems to be the weakest link.

He doesn’t sound inspiring. Contrary to the album’s title, it’s not that much of a reminder that the band has made a comeback. It will likely fade into the background, much like Shehan’s vocals.

People who were fans of this band back in 2003 may be sorely disappointed with The Jealous Sound’s new and underwhelming release.

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