Do you like Billy Joel, Ben Folds and, also, the beeps and blips of modern pop music? Well boy o’ boy do I have a band and a new album for you to hear.
I’ve long been a fan of Jukebox the Ghost, a District by way of Philly trio, who trade mad pop hooks and high musical drama like a middle schooler trades Pokemon cards. My girls love Jukebox the Ghost too, have seen them live a couple of times, and own JTG t-shirts and buttons, and so when their new album was released this week we all celebrated Jukebox the Ghost Day together. As we three listened to the new songs we hadn’t yet heard via pre-order download on the way to and from school and while making dinners, I quickly released that if you tilt your head a wee bit to the left and squint juuuuuust so, this batch of lovelorn, hope and heartbreak songs can sound a lot like parenting and kid songs. It isn’t a far stretch at all. You simply have to want it and poof, there it is. Therefore, here are 5 Reasons Why You Should Listen To The New Jukebox the Ghost Album With Your Kids:
- The opening salvo of “Girl” will have your little ladies convinced they’re about to hear Katy Perry’s “Firework” for the 3 billionth time, but…before they notice that Ben Thornwell (center above) most definitely isn’t the famous half-dressed pop star, they’ll be hunkered down deep in the dramatic start/stop piano and drum riff that will sweetly, albeit unmercifully, invade their earholes for hours on end. “Open your heart / open your mind” to the catchiest damn thing you’ll hear this fall.
- Staying with “Girl” for a moment…the third song on Jukebox the Ghost’s new self-titled album can easily be heard as a parenting anthem for every dad of daughters leaving the hospital ready to start a new life with an intense new love like the one they remember experiencing once before. This is a love that can serve as savior too, and there isn’t a good parent who doesn’t know THAT exact feeling: “Girl you’re take me back to a time when I loved and I meant it. Girl you’re gonna save me, give me chance, it’s worth taking.”
- “The Great Unknown” is more powerful than any stock-photoed pseudo-inspirational poster hanging in your office, and thanks to a rad backbeat, this song will resonate with kids who want to believe in the limitless potential stretching out in front of them and parents (like me) who’ve come to understand that pressing publish on life before everything is perfect is the only way to make perfection happen. Hey kids, “keep your head up, don’t take your eyes off the road, you’re never gonna change by doing what you’re told, you don’t want to let yourself down, so don’t be scared to stand out, here’s a thousand voices saying, ‘THE TIME IS NOW!'”
- Your kids like Singin’ in the Rain, right? Of course they do and so when they hear mention of “singing from a street light” in “Hollywood” they will be pleased and, slowly, the artificial wall constructed by the film industry and People magazine and Entertainment Tonight will crumble down, meaning your daughter will be far less likely to fall for crap movies and the glossy lies for sale in the grocery store checkout magazine rack.
- You will hear “Undeniable You” and you will think of either your better half or your child/children or both. This is a given. Maybe your young kids won’t ‘get’ the Jeff Buckley-esque performance given by Thornwell here but god damn, is it remarkable and intense and wonderful, just like parenthood itself. A life “changed through and through” by the arrival of, well, in my case, an amazing woman and, later, a pair of superb children. That is undeniable.
GIRL: here’s me with mine listening to theirs.
Which album do you like to re-appropriate for youthful audiences? Does being a parent make you hear songs differently?