Review: The Jealous Sound – ‘A Gentle Reminder’

Originally published for IAreYeti.

The Jealous Sound haven’t had the smoothest journey since the release of their debut album, ‘Kill Them With Kindness’, in 2003. After releasing a somewhat disappointing follow-up in the form of their 2005 EP, ‘Got Friends’, the group disbanded, realising that they had hit a dry spell. However, in 2009, the band reconnected to support Sunny Day Real Estate on their tour. Now, nine years since the release of their debut, the band have returned with their second full-length studio release, ‘A Gentle Reminder’. With a sound reminiscent of a cross between Snow Patrol and a heavier version of Death Cab for Cutie, The Jealous Sound are certainly interesting, but perhaps slightly out-dated.

‘Beautiful Morning’ is a near-perfect album opener for the band’s return, seeming to detail front man Blair Shehan’s re-discovery of song writing and, in some ways, his own personal self-discovery:  “We all can change when it’s time to change”. It becomes apparent, through Shehan’s lyrics, that his decision to quit the band came as a result of a disillusion with what he was doing but, fortunately, this experience has made for some deeply raw and emotional songs on the album. ‘Equilibrium’ is most definitely the highlight of the album, both lyrically and melodically, where Shehan completely lays himself bare, unashamedly and irrevocably: “Chased the highs but caught the lows / I was caught up in the throws”. Eponymous track ‘A Gentle Reminder’ has a belting chorus of “I couldn’t bare to let you go”, sung with the same pain and emotion of anyone who has ever loved and lost and, therefore, makes for a hugely relatable song.

With emo bands all but dead and gone these days, it’s difficult to see The Jealous Sound fitting in to the current industry. However good Shehan’s lyrics may be, it just all sounds a bit old. Had they released this album five or six years ago, during the glory days of emo bands like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance, they could have been bigger and better than their successors. However, what the band does have is a solid base for progression, with a great dynamic and an incredibly open lyricist, in the form of Blair Shehan. ‘A Gentle Reminder’ is, in fact, a decent album but perhaps just came at the wrong time.

Overall Rating: 3/5

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