Bleachers Seemingly Audition for E-Street Band with New Album

3.9 out of 5 stars

I want to start by saying that I actually like Bleachers, and I don’t mind this album all that much. I would just say that Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night fell short of my expectations for the act in a lot of ways.

The songs have a very Bruce Springsteen feel throughout even though the Jersey legend himself is only on one of the songs.

It’s as if 1980’s Jersey rock was the theme for this album. If that was the goal, then mission accomplished.

In a lot of the songs, it seemed like a bit of an attempt to just try to become the next “Boss” himself though.

If you listen to songs like “Chinatown” and “Big Life” you will hear the Jersey style that I am referring to. It’s unmistakably reminiscent of The E-Street Band’s overall style.

The collaboration with Lana Del Rey on “Secret Life” is probably one of the better songs on the album, and I would say if it was in an album full of more original music, it would really come off as a possible hit.

Of course, the song “Stop Making This Hurt” is already making rounds on radio stations as probably the song with the most potential to have enduring airplay from this album. It’s a pretty good song. It’s VERY in line with the Talking Heads, in my opinion, and if David Byrne himself was singing lead on it, it would probably sound exactly the same.

It’s not surprising that this album has some old school vibes on it though. It features acts like Springsteen and Del Rey, and Del Rey also co-wrote “Don’t Go Dark.” Not only that, but retro female powerhouse St. Vincent (a.k.a. Annie Clark) is one of the album’s producers as well.

Speaking of “Don’t Go Dark”, this is probably my personal favorite song on the album, and it is the song that sounds most like previous Bleachers efforts. Maybe a little too much though? It sounds very similar to “Don’t Take The Money.” 

I even played them back to back, and I found that the similarities are probably too close to be considered an “original” or “new” song. It sounds more like a song sequel, which if that was meant to be the case, then it is kind of a cool idea.

It’s not that they sound exactly the same or anything. They just have too many melodic similarities, and the song setup is seemingly very correlated.

I still liked this album more than I probably should just because Jack Antonoff (lead singer who takes the project name as his stage name), formerly of Fun, is so infectious with his song making and ability to have a positive attitude about his music.

Just like his former band, Antonoff makes his music fun, but for me, the best albums from Bleachers make this new effort seem a little lackadaisical.