As the guitarist for pop-rock stars fun., Jack Antonoff helped build a sound that brought Eltonian grandeur to the kind of open-wound introspection that's usually confined to the dark, comfy corners of emo records. With this one-man side project, he goes deeper into his Eighties synth-rock and Arcade Fire influences, piling snazzy hooks and knotty feelings into ravenously over-the-top therapy rock. The hit "I Wanna Get Better," which came with a video directed by his girlfriend, Lena Dunham, sets the mood with its buoyant affliction. "I'm standing on the overpass screaming at myself," Antonoff hollers over tense Cure guitars, before a thunderous chorale and hyperactive synthesizers rush in behind him. Nothing else on Bleachers' debut quite reaches that height, and enticing collaborations with art-pop heavies like Yoko Ono fall flat. But the bright ideas keep coming like mosquitoes at a backyard BBQ, from "Rollercoaster" – which suggests a colder-hearted update of Modern English's "I Melt With You" – to "Shadow," which piles on Eighties echoes (Tears for Fears, Duran Duran) into a bear-hug anthem for anyone "feeling small." Rest easy: Antonoff's big-sounding songs are a warm, safe place for the whole world to hide.
- Strange Desire
From The Archives Issue 1214: July 31, 2014
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Around the Web
Screen Rant5 Movies That Killed Actors’ Careers
DiffuserThe Strangest Deaths In Rock History
Mental Floss15 Famous Songs With Misunderstood Meanings
Cracked7 Musicians Whose Trademark Looks Were Hiding Something
Mental Floss10 Artists Who Hated Their Biggest Hit
Diffuser10 Cover Songs Better Than The Originals
- Watch Tom Cruise Channel Meat Loaf, the Weeknd in 'Lip Sync Battle'
- In the Age of Trump, Will Democrats Sell Out More, Or Less?
- Up in the Air: Meet the Man Who Flies Around the World for Free
- Puscifer Announce New Album, Premiere Epic 'Grand Canyon' Song and Video
- Kim Kardashian: American Woman
- 'Kids': The Oral History of the Most Controversial Film of the Nineties
- Ta-Nehisi Coates on Race, Hip-Hop and Being Praised by Toni Morrison
- 500 Greatest Albums of All Time