Close friends and musicians Jared Bardugone and Jared Mancuso are in fact the Jared Project. The duo released their debut The Battle Between Love and Fear a couple of years back and recently released Songbook. This is a certified pop album that is quite varied. I thought some of the songs and styles worked better than others but more on that later.
One thing I can is say from an aesthetic standpoint is this album is fantastic sounding. The duo recorded the album at home using Logic and the results are far better than what you might expect from that setup.
The album starts with “Start Again” which feels hyperbolically optimistic in a good way. It’s catchy the first time you listen to it and I thought this vibe fits the band. The song doesn’t drag and the song goes by before you know it. Next up is “The Traveler” which revolves around one primary guitar pattern strummed on the acoustic guitar and vocals. This is another solid song and a style that works for the band. The Jareds switch off singing verses and eventually combine. Nice job.
Some of the songs such as “Vegas” were a bit too poppy in an Orange County, California type of way for my liking. Other songs like “Wolfpack” have a party vibe that could fill a dance floor. A highlight was “Saturn.” The instrumentation and mix on this song is exceptional. I dug the vibe and thought the vocals were exceptional. You can hear a tinge of Postal Service here. The band actually rocks out on “Queen Of Alabama” while “Don’t Know Nothin’ Bout Love” is a bluegrass inspired hoedown.
There are certainly some gems on this album but the band hasn’t quite honed in on their own sound. They hop around from genre to genre instead if combining them into something that feels undeniably their own. I think this is certainly possible for the duo and wouldn't be surprised if we heard something a little more cohesive from them in the future. Till then there are definitely some songs on this album for everyone.
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