Album Review: The Jealous Sound – A Gentle Reminder

About three years ago, LA’s The Jealous Sound posted “there is hope for us….” on their MySpace page.  It was a subtle hint to their fans that they would be still working as a band after constant rumors of  the band breaking up and with no real material being released in years.  Later that summer, The Jealous Sound kept their word  to the fans and announced that the indie rock band would be touring with Sunny Day Real Estate on their reunion tour.  A couple more years would pass before anyone heard if The Jealous Sound would be dropping new material and finally in October of 2011, the band announced an all new album would be dropping in 2012.  A Gentle Reminder would be the bands first full length release in almost 9 years.

The album was well overdue, but is absolutely incredible to listen to and was made possible by the band being refueled after touring with Sunny Day Real Estate back in 2009.  Once that tour wrapped up, The Jealous Sound kept putting ideas together that would mold into A Gentle Reminder.   With the addition of a new bassist, the band still grasped onto their 90s post-rock sound influences that really helped define their sound.

What’s more impressive about this release is that it does not sound much askew from their 2003 release Kill Them With Kindness.  The emo-y pop rock sounds that this band put out turned heads back then and easily will now.

“Beautiful Morning” opened the album off with no hints of a 9 year break between albums.  Blair Shehan’s vocals are the same emo-y / indie sound I was expecting and it was more than welcome to my years.  This was a strong opening track with choice vocals that almost seem as Shahen was hiding personal thoughts in them “We all get by when we have to.  We all can change when it’s time to change and I think I know what they’re after” clearly was directed to the fans.

The following track, “Change You”, just continued to impress.  This chill yet slightly haunting track sounded almost as if it were too good to be a Jealous Sound song, but then again the band did have a few years worth of time on their hands to write it.  “Your Eyes Were Shining” easily was my favorite cut off the album with catchy guitar playing behind Shehan flowing smoothly.

“Here Comes The Ride” was a slow, emo-y track that seemed to put the breaks on things until “Equilibrium” rejuvenated things instantly.  The energy in this track was worth the earlier lull.  I love how the band just seems to completely let loose on this track.  It was a fun surprise to listen to.  “Perfect Timing” really needs some radio play.  I have the feeling people will really get a kick out of that song.  The title track “A Gentle Reminder” took a couple steps back for a moment but soon Shehan was quick to jump back towards the microphone and belt out some great singing.

I will admit, I thought that The Jealous Sound was done for years back and I was ok with it.  I will say though that I am beyond stoked that they decided to give it a shot again as a band and dropped A Gentle Reminder. Not trying to compare them to a Neutral Milk Hotel thinking style, but I am kind of glad this band took its time releasing an album and more so am thrilled they recorded it because they wanted to and not because they had to.  The hiatus may have not been what many fans were hoping for, but the return should be all that more rewarding for anyone who calls themselves a band and the payout, this album, was something far worth waiting for.

The Jealous Sound is currently touring in support of A Gentle Reminder and will be making a stop in Cleveland on February 17th.  You would have to be a damned fool to miss out on this show.  It is going to be that show that everyone talks about for the rest of this year.

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