Follow Us on Twitter

Jukebox The Ghost - Everything Under The Sun

Jukebox The Ghost, Everything Under The Sun

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

JUKEBOX The Ghost are a Philly-based trio who like to specialise in euphoric pop. Sophomore album, aptly named Everything Under The Sun, is as bright and warm as they come.

Working from an expanded musical palate than their debut, this finds the boys incorporating a fizzing synth sound, while maintaining their pop sensibilities.

What emerges is an album that seems to incorporate the best traits of contemporaries such as Weezer, Ben Folds, Fountains of Wayne and They Might Be Giants, while cranking things up to even more giddy effect in places.

But there’s also more emotional heft, too, showcasing a broader, more mature sound.

Album opener Schizophrenia sets the ball rolling in joyous fashion instrumentally, with snappy beats colliding with spiralling piano arrangements and providing a useful backdrop to the edgy, falsetto vocals that tap into the schizophrenia of the title.

Half Crazy also indulges their inner crazy, with the synths often being allowed to shoot all over the place and the vocals from Ben Thornewill and Tommy Siegel really baring comparison to They Might Be Giants.

But then they tone things down to welcome effect, with Empire striking a nice balance of striking piano melodies, catchy choruses and appealing lyrics. It’s the first real highlight.

Summer Sun then offers two and a half minutes of heartfelt piano-pop that recalls a summer romance and uses the drum-beats to chart the heartbeat in question. It’s another gem.

Mistletoe is described as their nod to The Beatles and has a catchy exuberance about it, while there’s prog-rock on show in The Sun – both of which are good but not great.

They hit more highs and once more showcase their emotional side with the sprawling piano balladry of So Let Us Create, which even sounds McCartney-esque, while the subtle opening piano arrangement that ushers in Carrying is terrific. Sadly, it actually gives rise to another of their impossibly upbeat offerings and leaves you pining for what might have happened had they opted for a song in the same tone as the intro.

But they return to the top of their game a few tracks later when The Popular Thing has a retro pop feel about it that’s utterly feel-good and Nobody rounds things off with an epic slice of McCartney-leaning mid-tempo balladry that offers a near-perfect mix of endearing melody and thought-provoking lyricism.

All told, Everything Under The Sun is a life-affirming listen… impossibly so at times. But while some of their upbeat tendencies may test the patience, Jukebox The Ghost offer something to appeal to just about everyone.

Download picks: Empire, Summer Sun, So Let Us Create, Nobody, The Popular Thing

Track listing:

  1. Schizophrenia
  2. Half Crazy
  3. Empire
  4. Summer Sun
  5. Mistletoe
  6. The Sun
  7. So Let Us Create
  8. Carrying
  9. The Sun [Interlude]
  10. The Stars
  11. The Popular Thing
  12. Nobody