Jordan Abell is a college student, studying music and he decided to create an album despite the time it took away from his homework assignments. The album called Pop Filter is straight-up bedroom pop and according to Abell is “an exploration of the processes of expectation, memory, and the actual experience of an event that occurs in between: how they shape the big events in our lives, and especially how expectation and memory are distorted or exaggerated to cope with their distance from the reality.” His explanation may sound ambiguous, abstract, and possibly self-indulgent but the songs themselves are concrete and feel tangible.
There are 14 songs on this album and while it does overstay its welcome by a tad Abell mixes things up without going too far off the deep end. Some songs such as “Virginia, Land Of Virgins” are dark rock songs while “In the Afternoon” is an intimate acoustic number that sounds like its being played about two feet away from you.
One of the most endearing songs as well as the catchiest song was “Credit Card.” Abell’s self-deprecating humor works as he sings, “Mom, Dad, I still have your credit card / I'll give it back once I become independent— Oh and I still need to fill up my car / For my date tonight, can we add it to her present?” The songs works and I didn't mind the digital strings and piano one bit as his reverb-laced voice sings over them. One thing I did notice was that the song seemed occasionally offbeat and I'm not sure if that was intentional or not but it sounded a bit sloppy.
One of the highlights of the album is a simple gorgeous instrumental tune called “Fiesole.” Soft horns moan over even softer bells and acoustic guitar strings. It sounded similar to something you might hear from Sufjan Stevens.
“NY Girl” was another winner (although the bass was a bit too prominent) with a carefree 20-somethings vibe that
flirts with the concept of young love or lack there of.
Abell has crafted some very good songs on Pop Filter that contain just enough variation to keep your attention. Besides some minor production issues Pop Filter is a solid achievement in my book.
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