14 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

There were some obvious nods to Ben Folds in Jukebox the Ghost’s debut album, 2008's Live and Let Ghosts, and his influence also seeped into the Brooklyn trio’s 2010 sophomore outing, Everything Under the Sun. Jukebox the Ghost's third album, Safe Travels, finds the trio honing its own sound. The androgynously gorgeous “Somebody” opens with multilayered falsettos before Ben Thornewill, Tommy Siegel, and Jesse Kristin fall back on their natural tenors to confidently croon a sunny indie tune that has more in common with Foster the People than Folds. The unmistakable tone of wooden drumsticks on a metal rim keeps time in the following “Oh, Emily,” a quirky cut that recalls the intelligent college pop of bands like Too Much Joy and They Might Be Giants (especially with piano-playing frontman Thornewill singing in a more nasal twang on this one). The somewhat theatrical-sounding “Adulthood” echoes Freddy Mercury’s higher register before segueing to the rollicking Billy Joel–inspired romp “Everybody Knows,” a slice of piano-pop perfection. Thornewill, Siegel, and Kristin harmonize like a Southern church choir in the aptly titled closer, “The Spiritual.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

There were some obvious nods to Ben Folds in Jukebox the Ghost’s debut album, 2008's Live and Let Ghosts, and his influence also seeped into the Brooklyn trio’s 2010 sophomore outing, Everything Under the Sun. Jukebox the Ghost's third album, Safe Travels, finds the trio honing its own sound. The androgynously gorgeous “Somebody” opens with multilayered falsettos before Ben Thornewill, Tommy Siegel, and Jesse Kristin fall back on their natural tenors to confidently croon a sunny indie tune that has more in common with Foster the People than Folds. The unmistakable tone of wooden drumsticks on a metal rim keeps time in the following “Oh, Emily,” a quirky cut that recalls the intelligent college pop of bands like Too Much Joy and They Might Be Giants (especially with piano-playing frontman Thornewill singing in a more nasal twang on this one). The somewhat theatrical-sounding “Adulthood” echoes Freddy Mercury’s higher register before segueing to the rollicking Billy Joel–inspired romp “Everybody Knows,” a slice of piano-pop perfection. Thornewill, Siegel, and Kristin harmonize like a Southern church choir in the aptly titled closer, “The Spiritual.”

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
209 Ratings
209 Ratings
WINicknak ,

Audio Gold

For the past three years, I have been listening to three piano-pop artists that I think should be huge. One is a brilliant artist by the name of Joe Raciti, another is a band by the name of fun., and the last is JtG. fun. has now realized commercial success and it's time to cultivate a larger fan base for the remaining two. This album is full of ridiculously singable tunes, and I'm sure, like their first two efforts, not only will I not tire of it, but it will continue to grow on me. I can't wait to see them in concert again!

Swamblerette ,

Nailed it

I won't promote the "the third album is like the first two albums met and had a beautiful musical baby" cliche I've seen bandied about because although it's mostly true, Safe Travels IS the sexiest musical infant around (uh oh, time to abandon this metaphor), it's also its own unique creature. I'm also wary of overusing the world mature because what does that mean in the context of music, really? Safe Travels is emotionally resonant and far-reaching, it's clear, it's strong and introspective and effortlessly navigates the waters of pained longing and self discovery. It's everything we would hope to gain with maturity. It's wonderfully composed and executed, not to mention filled with the sickest drum beats ever featured on a JtG album. Simply put: it's good. It's the goodest thing they've done yet, and that's saying something because Jukebox the Ghost is nothing if not good at good.

BScheller ,

Another Perfect Effort

This band is one of the best things happening in modern pop music. Just like Live and Let Ghosts and Everything Under the Sun, Safe Travels soars with creativity, originality and musical prowess. Support these guys by buying this album (and the other two if you don't have them); you will not regret it.

More By Jukebox the Ghost

You May Also Like