Nine years after their last full-length release, The Jealous Sound return with their latest effort, ‘A Gentle Reminder’. At times this feels like an eternity, and at times feels like it was only yesterday. With such a huge gap between albums, it leaves a huge space to build up expectations and means that with the vast changes in music a band must change with the times to avoid sounding dated, and thankfully The Jealous Sound make a pretty good job of it. They banish the myth that emo music is just associated with skinny jeans, eyeliner and My Chemical Romance, and instead show that it’s actually much more about the raw emotional lyrics.
In some ways, ‘A Gentle Reminder’ picks off just where 2003’s ‘Killed Them With Kindness’ left off, but in other ways with nine years to mature the band have swapped their raw aggression for a calmer outlook on life. The new twist of harmonic complexity still rests on the nostalgic feeling that their loyal fans will thrive on. The song writing is simple in nature but big in delivery, and is testament to the profound genius behind the band’s sound.
Opening track ‘Beautiful Morning’ introduces the album perfectly with Shehan singing with complete complexity and maturity, displaying his image ridden lyrics such as “My breath condensed on the window / I wrote a message to myself that only I would know”. ‘Your Eyes Are Shining’ is a slightly more pacy affair, with deep vocal melodies and strong guitar lines which serves as a perfect reminder of why the band have the same relevance in 2012 as they did a decade ago.
The album’s only real fault is its consistency from track to track with little variation of tempo or dynamics, meaning that most of the songs blend into an album long mix with few really stand out or stand alone songs. So much so that when Shehan lets go on the chorus of ‘Equilibrium’, the excitement of a new element to the music is overwhelming.
The songs themselves are not bad in any meaning of the word, but more variation would have made this album just a little more exciting. Nevertheless, this is a perfect album for a lazy Sunday afternoon, sitting under the sun.
Written by Rhian Westbury