April 4, Gone Now by Bleachers
Genre: That ’80s-ish Synthpop new wave stuff that wasn’t actually made in the ’80s.
Total tracks: 12 (though one track “Goodbye” is somewhat of a reprise of an earlier track)
Songs you might know:
– “Hate That You Know Me”
– “Don’t Take the Money”
– “I Miss Those Days”
My prior relationship with this album: I’ve actually seen Bleachers live twice, the first time on the tour for this album. One thing Bleachers (i.e. Jack Antonoff) is exceptionally good at is actually picking the album’s best songs as the singles, and the lead single here, “Don’t Take the Money” stole my heart instantly. However, that also meant that many of the other songs were a relative letdown, despite not actually being bad. I really don’t remember listening to the whole album all that often because playing “Don’t Take the Money” over and over again was always more enjoyable.
My impressions this time around: This listen made me feel like I hadn’t given Gone Now a proper chance before now. While I would still say “Don’t Take the Money” is far and away the best song on the album, the entire 40-minute listening experience was far more pleasurable than I ever remembered it. Gone Now has a great flow to it. It offers different tempos, moods, and levels of production. It’s arranged in such a way that the similar-ish songs are spread far enough apart that it’s not immediately obvious how similar they are. As each track fades into a new one, there’s enough contrast to inspire a certain level of excitement for this new track.
Where Antonoff really stepped up his game on this album was the delicate ballads. While I would still say that pretty much all my favorite Bleachers songs are more upbeat and full of energy, songs like “All My Heroes” and “Foreign Girls” stray from that but still have a certain level of emotion and catchiness. These were perhaps my most under-appreciated songs before listening to it this time around. While not my all-time favorite tracks on the album, the contrast they give the whole album is indispensable.
Who would enjoy it? People who like more inventive pop music. If you’ve never listened to Bleachers before, there IS a fair chance you’ve listened to music Antonoff has produced. He’s a frequent collaborator of more famous people like Taylor Swift (He co-wrote and produced “Out of the Woods”), Lorde (He co-wrote and produced “Green Light”) and Pink (He co-wrote and produced “Beautiful Trauma”). Gone Now gives you similar pop vibes while also being slightly more experimental than the more mainstream artists Antonoff collaborates with.