Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Justin Roeland “Doomed to Bloom”

Ithica, New York-based singer-songwriter Justin Roeland has been and continues to be a rather busy individual. From the various bands that he is part of such as The Fling as well as the band Greater California and Justin Roeland & Nightswimmers to creating his very own solo music, Roeland is constantly writing and creating music. In fact, Roeland is currently celebrating the release of his newest album of original solo material. The newest solo release from Justin Roeland is entitled Doomed to Bloom.

The new release of Doomed to Bloom from Justin Roeland begins with the track “Desolation”. Much like something that would have come from the Louisville, Kentucky band My Morning Jacket, “Desolation” is a track that features an Indie Rock soul but also contains a strong ambient feel to the music. That feel seems to come from the blending of the instrumentation together in order to create one strong sound that revolves around the electric guitar. There is a definite commercial quality to the music but it still has a slight difference that wouldn’t exactly fit on Top 40 radio.

Justin Roeland’s new album continues with the track “In the New Year”. While the previous song of “Desolation” contains some commercial feel to it, “In the New Year” brings a little more Indie Rock quality with it with a slight Oldies flavor. That Indie Rock feel is courtesy of the track’s stronger ambient presence. Not only does the instrumentation have a slight ambient feel to it, the vocals on the track feel as if they come from the vocal groups who were very popular back in the fifties. With the ambient quality to the music and the Oldies feel in the vocal direction, “In the New Year” ultimately has a relaxed musical approach. 

On the track “Seasons of Love,” Justin Roeland creates a track that is Indie Folk as the track is equal parts Indie Rock and Folk. The light percussion in the background of the track helps to create the foundation to the track and gives the song its rather laidback feel and the rest of the instrumentation gives the song a light approach on the Rock and Roll side of things. The track continues at a slow pace with a rather easy feel to the music for the length of the track but the inclusion of the electric guitar nearly halfway in helps add a nice amount of energy to the track.

It is on the track “Underworld” that Justin Roeland creates one of the most commercial tracks on the Doomed to Bloom release. The track has perhaps the strongest Rock and Roll approaches of any track on the release. A strong electric guitar and a strong bassline are two reasons why this track is so strong. While the track still contains a slight ambient quality to it, it’s the Indie Rock influences that come through on this track. The one thing that comes through with this track is that the song seems to suggest a slight Chris Isaak influence as the track has a similar quality to it that Isaak’s “Wicked Game” has…with a slightly more lively feel to the music. “Underworld” is easily one of the strongest moments on the Doomed to Bloom release from Justin Roeland, even if the lyrics about Roeland reacting to his world being ripped out from under might come across as rather dark.

It is on the album’s “title track” of “Dream House” that once again finds Justin Roeland creating a track with a laidback approach to the music. The lyrical content of the track brings back some of the dark quality that was found on the previous song of “Underworld”. With this track, sings of how the house they currently occupy is fine for their current needs, although they are “doomed to bloom,” most likely meaning that they are sure to outgrow the house they are in. Like most of the tracks that are found on the Doomed to Bloom album, the “title track” of “Dream House” comes with a relatively laidback feel.   

Justin Roeland brings his newest solo release to a close with the track “Wide Awake”. As the rest of the album comes with a laidback approach to the music, so it is with the final track of the album. The mainly instrumental track (with the exception of some vocalizing from Roeland) features the sound of several guitars creating a sound that sounds like an instrumental track that may have been created by Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefers as there is some Island influence to the music of the track. The easy feel to the music (like with much of this release) brings the album to a close on a gentle note.

Doomed to Bloom from Justin Roeland is a good solo release from a musician that keeps himself busy with the various projects that he juggles. And although the album stays rather mellow throughout the ten tracks that make up the release, those ten tracks have such a similar musical approach that the album feels very solid despite that mellowness. But it is the solidified feel of the album that allows for the listener to simply put the album on and let the music play out. The album almost begs you to put headphones on and just let the music take you away.


For the last several months, Justin Roeland has been releasing videos to go along with tracks from the Doomed to Bloom album. Click on the link to check out the video to the “title track” of the Doomed to Bloom album entitled “Dream House“.  

Click on the album cover below to check out the Doomed to Bloom album and the rest of Justin Roeland’s music on his spotify profile: