CD Review: Jukebox the Ghost “Everything Under the Sun”

Jukebox The Ghost is a band that is heavy on sunshine and nostalgic influences. Produced by Peter Katis (Interpol, The National) the trio is made up of guitarist/vocalist Tommy Siegel, pianist/vocalist Ben Thornewill and drummer Jesse Kristin. The group has a solid upbeat piano sound that makes an impression on the opener, “Schizophrenia,” with quick beats, playful synths and the contrasting lyrics “No I can’t, Yes I Can…” The album is tons of fun with expertly executed hooks in the bouncy “Half Crazy” and quirky lyrics of “Empire,” which sounds like a brilliant combination of Billy Joel and Field Music. The latter tune is a special highlight as the chorus just rings in your head and won’t let you go.

The Ben Folds piano plunk is most pronounced on “Mistletoe” and it’s got the rich chord changes and arrangement that recalls classic Elton John. The band gets more theatrical on “The Sun” and uses more orchestral flourishes, distorted guitars and pounding drums – similar to “Day at The Races”-era Queen. The ballads are just as impressive. The moving opus “So Let Us Create” uses a perfect falsetto and rolling piano chords with the addictive melody. Each song has thick layers of optimism and the sugar coating on “Carrying” may be thick but, overall, the album’s sweet disposition is a welcome remedy to the current snarling cynicism of most pop bands. Every track is impressive and without filler to be found. Fans of Supertramp, OK GO and the piano-based power pop bands mentioned above should add this to their “must buy” list.

Check out Jukebox the Ghost here: http://www.myspace.com/jukeboxtheghost