released Sept 7th, 2010
from the album - Schizophrenia
Pianist Ben Thornewill, guitarist Tommy Siegel, and drummer Jesse Kristen first came together in 2003 as undergraduate students at George Washington University. Sporting a quirky, brainy pop sound that took its cues from the likes of Ben Folds and They Might Be Giants, the three logged several years together under a different name, The Sunday Mail, before re-branding themselves Jukebox the Ghost in 2005. Following graduation, they released their debut album, Let Live & Let Ghosts, and relocated to Philadelphia.
Boosted by positive reviews, Jukebox the Ghost began touring in earnest, first as the opening act for one of their biggest influences (Ben Folds) and then alongside some of their pop-minded contemporaries (Tally Hall, Jenny Owen Youngs, Nightmare of You). By early 2010, they’d signed with Yep Roc Records and gone into the studio with producer Peter Katis, known for his work with atmospheric rock bands like Interpol and the National. With Katis adding a darker element to the band’s sound, Jukebox the Ghost released their second album, Everything Under the Sun, in September.
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 bobbing up and down through these twelve tunes (I personally could have sworn I heard shades of Rush, Queen and 10cc on more than one track), 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.
1 Schizophrenia Jukebox the Ghost 3:44
2 Half Crazy Jukebox the Ghost, Siegel 3:03
3 Empire Jukebox the Ghost 3:37
4 Summer Sun Jukebox the Ghost 2:15
5 Mistletoe Jukebox the Ghost 3:44
6 The Sun Jukebox the Ghost, Siegel 3:06
7 So Let Us Create Jukebox the Ghost 3:50
8 Carrying Jukebox the Ghost, Siegel 4:16
9 The Sun (Interlude) Jukebox the Ghost, Siegel 1:02
10 The Stars Jukebox the Ghost, Siegel 4:52
11 The Popular Thing Jukebox the Ghost 3:43
12 Nobody Jukebox the Ghost 4:23