Top Albums of 2014 – #4: Strange Desire by Bleachers

21 Dec

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Back in November I lauded Bleachers as the purveyors of ridiculously catchy music that refused to leave the musical amalgamation that is my mind. My opinion of the band has not really changed; although, I must say that Jack Antonoff’s project has moved in my mind from just plain catchy to musically skilled and complex; Antonoff melds a theatrical pop sound fit with expeditious percussion and dulcet instrumentation with the essential quality of catchiness, which the songs most certainly have.

Bleachers released its debut LP Strange Desire in July of this year and several singles have been cherry picked from the album, each cherry perfectly ripe and delicious. Singles like “I Wanna Get Better” and “Rollercoaster” have hit the charts with a mini fervor, similar to Antonoff’s last uber-successful project (Fun). I think the songs have also just scratched the surface of popularity; in fact, I see a remarkably successful 2015 for Antonoff and his fellow bandmates.

Strange Desire is an 11-track affair with tracks featuring Grimes and Yoko Ono – yes, Yoko Ono. The first four tracks are all super hits in my mind; seriously, the tracks are each monumental jaunty pop pieces that get feet tapping and heads nodding. The ethereal, heavenly keys and 80s-esque harmony of “Wild Heart” is followed by the key-driven, percussion-soaked harmony-laden swooning “Rollercoaster,” which is the perfect hit-the-road-and-drive-anywhere song. This is followed by an Arcade Fire-like “Shadow,” which moves with a creative rhythm section and ends with a twangy guitar riff that leads into this:

“I Wanna Get Better,” which is one of the best songs of the year, is a melodic agglutination of anthem vocals, sprawling harmonies, infectious keys, and rock-out percussion. The song just kicks some much butt, and it is tempting to just listen to it on repeat. Plus, I must say it fits the New Years theme quite well because doesn’t everyone want to get better.

Check out more from Bleachers on its website, Facebook, or Twitter.

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