Jukebox the Ghost

Everything Under the Sun

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AllMusic Review by

Everything Under the Sun seems like an apt title for Jukebox the Ghost's second album, since this trio seems capable of pulling any sort of pop music trick out of its collective hat on a moment's notice. If it's catchy, clever and expertly executed, Jukebox the Ghost can do it, and with the cheerful élan of the kid who can always be counted on to know the answer when the teacher asks a tough question. Suggesting some missing link between Ben Folds and OK Go, with myriad other influences (Rush, Queen and 10cc), bobbing up and down through these twelve tunes, Everything Under the Sun is top-heavy with brilliantly structured pop melodies, and Tommy Siegel (guitar and vocals), Ben Thornewill (keyboards and vocals) and Jesse Kristin (drums) are remarkably resourceful arrangers, making many of these songs sound almost orchestral in their dynamics and scope. Though it's clear the group and producer Peter Katis have made the most of their resources in the studio, a close listen to these performances confirm that it's just guitar, piano and drums most of time, without a bunch of guests beefing up the songs. The smarts and high spirits of Everything Under the Sun often seems to be at odds with the lyrics, which are often full of philosophical quandaries or tales of people whose lives are clearly not going so well; no one in this band is reaching for a Morrissey level of navel-gazing, but Jukebox the Ghost may well be working under the assumption that they can help some medicine go down with the sweetness of their music. But if Everything Under the Sun often seems a bit candy coated, it's a high grade of confectionary that they serve, and most folks who get a taste of this album are likely to come back for more.

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