Jukebox the Ghost

Jukebox the Ghost

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The eponymous fourth long-player from the effusive indie pop trio, Jukebox the Ghost dials back some of the more serious undertones that percolated throughout 2012's Safe Travels, offering up a tight, 11-song set (it was apparently pared down from 50) that doubles down on the Fun. button and boasts at least a few potential breakout tracks. Front-loaded with enough hooks to land an Orca, the album wastes little time in getting to the good stuff, churning out a five-track assault of sugary, feel-good millennial pop confections that sound like Ben Folds devoid of all cynicism. Opener "Sound of a Broken Heart," despite its sad sack moniker, is as dancefloor-ready as it is bursting at the seams with pop acumen, laying forth a dizzying array of electro-kissed staccato beats and enough wordless group vocals to give Bastille's "Pompeii" a run for its money, and "The Great Unknown," with its inspirational refrain of "Let go of the world you know/there's something waiting for you in the great unknown" seems the best bet for future movie trailer/reality television show montage domination, as its quasi-spiritual fervor is bested only by its infectious melody, but it's the less fussy "Long Way Home," which features both songwriters (Ben Thornewill and Tommy Siegel) emoting their hearts out over an earworm of a chorus that resonates the most. Like all of their songs, it's a veritable essay on pop craftsmanship, but it's also a little goofy, a little wistful, a tad too earnest, and most importantly, totally unconcerned with being cool.

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