Bleachers Are Anything But 'Gone Now'
Lindsey Lanham | A&E Editor
Still basking in the afterglow of their wildly successful debut album, Bleachers have proven they are anything but “Gone Now.” Three years after the release of “Strange Desire,” the band has refined their sound and bare all on their latest album.
Frontman Jack Antonoff has always worn his heart on his sleeve. While his blunt nature tends to either attract people to his music or turn people off, it seems to work on “Gone Now.”
“Gone Now,” released June 2, feels just like entries from Antonoff’s diary. At 12 tracks long, the album goes through loss and love, all while exploring the height of Antonoff’s musical maturity. Years of working in the music industry leave him producing and writing some of the best music of his career yet.
Antonoff’s confident nature surrounding “Gone Now” adds charm to the album. Antonoff even went as far to take his bedroom on tour, giving fans the opportunity to listen to the album as it was meant to be heard, according to Antonoff.
“Don’t Take the Money” was the first song to be released off “Gone Now.” A heartbroken alternative rock, instant-classic, complete with backing vocals from Lorde, the track was the perfect way for Bleachers to re-enter the music scene. As Antonoff sings “We fight, stay up late / In my dreams, I’m to blame,” the track is easily the focal point of “Gone Now.”
“Gone Now” opens up with a strong-willed grandeur, “Dream Of Mickey Mantle,” spells out exactly what the album is all about. Antonoff has managed, through this track, to establish prevalent themes that appear throughout the album. Developing ideas of uncertainty with lyrics like, “Some things just don’t turn out right” and “I miss those days so I sing a don’t take the money song.”
Continuing on strong, “Goodmorning” follows “Dream Of Mickey Mantle,” which offers a unique piano melody and simple lyrics. Unrushed and unashamed, Antonoff tells the story of a pathological liar, “I lied to your face in the summer / you had long hair then”, and how he needs to change “I wish that I could stop / now I wish that I could live a little safer.”
That is to say that “Gone Now” isn’t without its low points. “All My Heros” has Antonoff droning on about disappointing outcomes. “All the nights I don’t remember/are the ones I can’t forget / When all your heroes get tired” and “Let’s Get Married” offers nothing more than empty lyrics and an ordinary musical arrangement.
“Hate That You Know Me,” with Carly Rae Jepsen, feels like a watered down version of a Taylor Swift song. It ends too soon and with a whimper rather than a bang.
“Goodbye” provides little substance as Antonoff is stuck singing “Goodbye to the friends I had / goodbye to my upstairs neighbor/goodbye to the kids downstairs / and anyone who lent me a favor” on a loop.
The second to last track, “I’m Ready To Move On / Mickey Mantle Reprise,” redeems the remainder of the album. The longest song on the album, clocking in at nearly four and a half minutes, the track features a saxophone solo and features bits from other songs off “Gone Now.”
The album ends on a high note with “Foreign Girls.” Antonoff’s own redemption song, he takes the track as his chance to wish his final goodbyes to everyone. It’s his own rebirth, in a way. Antonoff lazily sings “I’ve been walking circles / lost on Sunday morning / tryna find my way back home,” encompassing the ultimate theme of “Gone Now,” finding yourself.
Though “Gone Now” has it’s highs, and is overall a more defined sound than “Strange Desire,” the album is not without its faults. It’s a rollercoaster of pop hits and drawn out monotone ballads. Whether the good outweighs the bad is up to the listener, and awkwardly candid people will love the honest nature of “Gone Now.”