For his second album under the Bleachers moniker, Antonoff leads us into a concept album of a world where he is dead. Basically, the entire album is about him being dead and how he perceives the world would go on after. The theme is continued on with the black and grey visuals for the album which is the picture he imagines would be on display at his funeral. For all intensive purposes in Gone Now Jack Antonoff is dead.
Knowing the concept behind the album you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is going to be some morbid depressing album with heavy production and heavier lyrics, you’d be wrong though. Bleachers is sure going to hit you with the feelings but he’s going to do it in the boldest, brightest and poppiest form that he can find. It’s not a funeral march, it’s a celebration of life, love, pain, desperation and strength through it all.
Something that in the past Antonoff hasn’t done well is subtly and that’s definitely a trait that’s been brought across into his sophomore album. He takes his established Springsteen-influenced pop lens and uses it to work through some of the pain he’s experienced in his life, there are big proclamations of love, and devastating loss all thrown at you in the most grandiose and ambitious arrangement that we’ve ever seen from him.
There are some intriguing production notes that make the album not your conventional pop release. There’s an overwhelming sense that things are about to change course dramatically and without any warning at any minute through all of the tracks. The anthemic Don’t Take The Money remains one of the best pop releases of the year closely followed by its own follow-up Hate That You Know Me So Well. Let’s Get Married carries an airy kind of 80’s throwback with its adventurous overtones and catchy hook of ‘Sit down, breathe and just listen‘. Foreign Girls leaves a bit of a what is this feeling about it as you listen through the strangely autotuned verses that sound like Jack was breathing some serious helium whilst recording.
Gone Now can be many things. It can be a record of haunting honesty, a life-affirming mantra, an invitation on a journey to become something larger than just the sum of your parts. But it’s something more than that. Bleachers sophomore album is a thing of unparalleled flawed beauty. It’s something so special that it needs to be protected and preserved for generations to come.
BLEACHERS / GONE NOW via RCA
Stream on Spotify here.