Jack Antonoff’s nebbishy presence seems ubiquitous in hipster culture, nowadays. Whether it’s as a songwriter, producer, arranger to the stars (Lorde, Taylor Swift) or the boyfriend of millennial icon Lena Dunham, Anotonoff has become a power player in the bespectacled and bearded set, and a key contributor to its toothless irrelevance.
Bursting on the scene nearly a decade ago with the band Fun, whose anthemic “We Are Young” catapulted him to wild success, the schlemiel songster continues to purge the depths of his soul (whether as a collaborator or artist) with a soporific spew of generic mid-‘80s flavored synth und drang. Gone Now, the second release of his side project Bleachers, continues this predictable trend.
By and large, it suffers from its similitude as Antonoff dishes out his mope pop in a singularly maroon hue, but there are three tracks that stand out from the crowd. “Goodmorning” is a jaunty piano number with a ‘70s bounce akin to Gilbert Sullivan’s “Alone Again Naturally” and the funky sax figure in “Everybody Lost Somebody” dresses up the de rigueur banality of the beat. To my ears though, “Don’t Take the Money” is the obvious winner. This fuzzy, Erasure-esque romp is destined to be blasted on replay at 10,000 Bushwick block parties this summer.
It’s all a big honking load of pastiche to be sure, but it works for what it is — a darker take on Reagan era fluff, made to order for the murkier times we’re living in. Ultimately, Gone Now is an uneven, albeit inoffensive collection of Pretty in Pink Soundtrack wannabes, but it’s the perfect complement to pork belly, ironic conversation, neon sunglasses and artisanal tequila shots. Lifestyle music for the painfully young, overly tattooed and hopelessly insipid.
an uneven, albeit inoffensive collection of Pretty in Pink Soundtrack wannabes...