Jukebox the Ghost | Let Live and Let Ghosts| Retro Album Review

Yep Roc Records
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

In the beginning era for most bands, they take the most risks while they find their sound. For Jukebox the Ghost’s first album Let Live and Let Ghosts, the risk looks like telling a story through any and all techniques to create an immersive and bold debut record.

The albums inception came as two band members Ben Thornwill and Tommy Siegel studied abroad in college. Deciding to write songs individually to create an album upon their return resulted in two storylines: the end of the world and falling in love. 

Instead of resulting in a disjointed album with the contradictory themes, it became an opportunity to experiment. The songs are woven in an order where the narrative throughline is expressed through all songs flowing seamlessly into the next one. Take the transition from “My Heart’s the Same” to “Lighting Myself on Fire;” slow, thoughtful piano chords build with subtle drums, until they crescendo in the last minute of the track, resulting in a grand pronouncement of love. The final line of the song flows into the first line of the next track’s peppy fast paced beat.

The interconnection of the record isn’t the only bold choice made. In a concert livestream, the bandmembers described the experience of writing this album while studying music in college. Learning new ways to make their music fueled the record. “Hold It In” came from Thornwill trying to make the silliest beat on the piano and building a song around it. “Static” contains pounding drums and ominous bass that bring on the feelings of a society on the verge of dystopia. “Fire in the Sky” features a single gentle acoustic guitar. Tracks range from 56 seconds to over five minutes. 

The album doesn’t feel pressured to be something specific, but rather explores everything that the band thought possible. Let Live and Let Ghosts is the prime example of the wonders that can result from letting creativity run wild while telling a story of the end of the world. 

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