Bleachers – ‘Bleachers’ album review: colourful, unpredictable and experimental


Bleachers' new album provides an unpredictable and nostalgic experience that you're guaranteed to love.

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Bleachers’ fourth album, Bleachers, is a pop-rock album full of songs about life and love, with Jack Antonoff using his wife Margaret Qualley as a major inspiration. Award-winning Antonoff has worked with The 1975, Taylor Swift, Lorde, and Lana Del Rey, winning eight Grammys in the process, so it’s no surprise that the band’s new album is nothing short of spectacular. The album is released March 8th but I was lucky enough to get access early.

Lead single Modern Girl has already become one of my favourites off their album. With its infectious ass-shaking saxophone and fast paced lyrics, it sets the tone of album as a nostalgic listening experience guaranteed to get you dancing. Alma Mater, Tiny Moves and Me Before You all followed as singles with Tiny Moves in particular providing another energetic hit while Me Before You sounds more relaxed but still romantic, with Antonoff sadly reminiscing on how he was blue before he met his wife. Alma Mater is more experimental, and while it’s not my favourite, I can appreciate the inclusion of Lana Del Rey’s voice as a contrast to Antonoff’s.

The album begins with I Am Right On Time, an 80’s-sounding feel-good track which discusses childhood and the realisation that they are on time with their life. Another favourite, Woke Up Today, is an guitar-based, soft-but-happy love song, like a cheery serenade to Antonoff’s wife – it feels sweet and personal. Self Respect is a thought-provoking track, encouraging the listener to reevaluate life and contemplate doing something reckless, something they’ll regret. The lyrics mention burning witches, Kobe Bryant’s death and Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi commercial as a way to encapsulate the feeling of life happening quickly, all at once. Antonoff successfully mixes slower lyrics with a fast-paced backing to create a fun but almost panicked juxtaposition, and even includes a cheering crowd and an impressive saxophone solo.

The penultimate track, Ordinary Heaven, is the definition of creative flow – its low synth backing echoes to create a sound almost like the musical equivalent of being underwater. Midway through the song, the singing fades out and a saxophone provides a smooth backing to a monologue made by Antonoff; dwelling on consciousness, not giving up and finding a way. He explains, as if in conversation with himself, how he thinks people are a little deranged but deep down we’re all the same. Ordinary Heaven fades into the last track The Waiter which begins with an organ-like sound before an autotuned Jack Antonoff begins to sing. The lyrics are heartfelt about believing someone can do better (however, I can’t help thinking it would be better without the autotune).

Bleachers’ new album is colourful, unpredictable and experimental. It is nostalgic and with every song having multiple meanings and layers to it, it certainly makes you think. Even in the upbeat songs there is a sense of intimate personal feelings about love and the meaning of life. This is Bleachers like you’ve never heard them before.

‘Bleachers’ is out on Friday (8th March), check out the video for Tiny Moves here:



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