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American alternative rock outfit Ours is the brainchild of howling vocalist and earnest songwriter Jimmy Gnecco. After debuting in the early 2000s with Distorted Lullabies and riding that album's success with Precious, the project went underground and sporadically released efforts into the 2010s, including 2013's Ballet the Boxer and 2018's New Age Heroine.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Gnecco toyed with music and various band configurations after graduating high school, but it wasn't until 1996, when he returned to America after a brief sabbatical, that he decided to pour his complete energy into music. It didn't take Gnecco long to attract industry attention; a major-label bidding war quickly ensued, with Gnecco turning down a few deals on the way to ultimately striking a partnership with DreamWorks. The relationship formed slowly -- Gnecco didn't even set foot in a studio for another year -- and the task of recording that elusive debut proved to be daunting. With Steve Lillywhite at the helm, it took Gnecco over three years to complete. The resulting album, 2000's Distorted Lullabies, was met with asterisked critical acclaim, with the prevailing sentiment suggesting that Gnecco was almost too similar to the late Jeff Buckley (in voice, style, and even appearance) to properly appreciate in his own right. Two years later, Ours returned with the lush and beautiful Precious, which was the group's first to crack Billboard's albums chart. From there, Gnecco remained elusive, despite a cult-like following of devoted fans.
Half a decade later, a move to American Recordings (and a production slot for head honcho Rick Rubin) produced third full-length Mercy...(Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy), which was released in 2008. Gnecco quickly followed with the release of a solo acoustic venture, The Heart, in 2010. The next year, he issued the X Edition of the album, which featured re-recordings of the original tracks with a full band.
Gnecco returned his focus to Ours three years later with the project's fourth full album, Ballet the Boxer 1. A sequel of sorts, New Age Heroine II, arrived in 2018 after another extended absence. ~ Mark Pytlik
- New Jersey
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