Released in 2009
-by J.J. Vicars
Jeremy Gloff has stepped into his own with 21st CENTURY LOVE SONGS. To call him an indie artist is like calling Billy Cobham a fusion drummer or Freddie King a Blues guitarist; true but it falls way short. Each of his previous albums showcased different phases and influences, with his latest album he’s transcended those influences as if they were all leading up to this one. Both his writing and performing have reached a new level of maturity. Gone is the frantic cramming , filling every space possible. This new album leaves room to breathe, giving more impact. This may his real debut because it’s likely that whatever he does next will grow from this newfound maturity.
The album opens with JANUARY ’09, vaguely reminiscent of John Mellencamp’s MR. HAPPY GO LUCKY with its eerie background voices, before a trebly bass guitar ushers in ASOCIAL LOVE SONG, setting the tone for the album. The piano and pounding toms of SQUARE ONE draw the listener into the world of 21st Century Love Songs, while a keyboard riff vaguely reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen’s DANCING IN THE DARK set to a 16th-note groove brightens the mood slightly on THIS CONDITION.
21st CENTURY LOVE sums up the theme of the album. Several verses detail the inhumanity of an era lost in digital gadgetry, numb to contact with other humans and oblivious to the trials of the times, punctuated by the hook line “Can you feel it/We’re so boring”. Future generations will have a heart-on-sleeve time-capsule to experience the beginning of the 21st Century.
COKE AND ECSTASY restores the lost humanity. A gentle piano-based ballad with sparse accompaniment comparing a lover to a drug; “the high comes and goes so fast/And then I go crazy”. The late-night ‘chill’ vibe is intoxicating. OH SWEET BOY brings the now trademark bass back to the forefront to drive a laid-back, hypnotic groove. Minimalist instrumentation is accentuated with guest vocalists and a surprisingly effective harmonica.
Once again a 16th-note beat picks things up. HEY GIRL highlights the 80’s Pop influence but like the rest of this album it’s merely one influence in a larger tapestry. JUNE ’09 is the second “short”. Two clean, twangy guitars recalling Chris Issak paint an ethereal picture that gives way to the masterpiece CLOUDS, the track that embodies the musical culmination that is 21st CENTURY LOVE SONGS. The main influences in Gloff’s musical stew are 80’s Pop, Dance/Electro and Indie songwriters. His previous albums each showed once side or the other. On this album, and particularly this song, they have at last fused seamlessly into a single cohesive musical style that is distinctly Jeremy Gloff. He calls it Intellectro Indie and that’s a pretty accurate description.
The piano and clean-toned guitars of the intensely personal ONE PHONE CALL evokes Mellencamp’s more adventurous collaborations with outside producers. The melody’s undeniable hook and the lyric’s poignant story of friends who took their own lives and the people they left behind cuts to the bone. Gloff has often said he hoped his songs would be soundtracks for other people’s moments. ONE PHONE CALL does one better.
The soundtrack feel registers with CHRISTINE. This song should be in a movie, preferably by an indie director who would have better taste than the corporate automatons that run Hollywood. BROKEN PIECES is another ethereal piece that belongs on a movie soundtrack.
The album’s sole cover is Jill Jones’ SO MUCH IN LOVE. Gloff has been one of Jill’s most ardent supporters for many years and dedicated his previous album, the 80’s Pop tribute 1987, to her. When he played a show in New York in 2008 the Brooklyn-based Jones joined him onstage to sing this song as a duet. Someone had the good sense to videotape it for posterity and the clip has been viewed by many on the Internet. It seems fitting that he would record one of her songs. Besides a close friendship, her influence is strongly felt throughout this album. Like Jill’s work on TWO and WASTED the backing vocals are no mere padding of harmonies but an instrument unto themselves. Jill Jones is one of the few singers who can pull this off and Jeremy Gloff is the only one to carry it on. His thoughtful arrangement of her song with soft touches of flute and violin seems as much for the friend as for the song itself. It whets the appetite for a collaboration between the two of them.
FROM AFAR eases the album towards a gentle conclusion in 3/4 time bringing to mind earlier albums like AMERICA IS LONELY TONIGHT and NOW’S THE RIGHT TIME TO FEEL GOOD. DECEMBER ’09, the last of the “shorts”, brings the album to a close. Fairly close to the opening “short”, but instead of charging the listener up it brings them down with a gentle afterglow. Once again flute and background voices are both somber and ethereal.
It is every artist’s goal to grow out of their influences. When starting out heroes and influences reflect different portions of ourselves and we learn by emulating them, just as babies learns to talk by emulating their parents and other people around. But if an artist is to shine they have to go beyond their influences and take the idiom(s) someplace only they can take it. Jeremy Gloff has made Indie, Electro and Pop albums before. Each stayed more or less in one mode. For the first time he has blended all of his influences into a single cohesive tapestry only he can create. With 21st CENTURY LOVE SONGS he’s achieved one of the most important goals of any artist. He’s also matured by trimming away the exuberant excesses. Lyrics, melodies and instruments are given space to breathe. They’re much more effective as a result. It’s easy to hear this album as a culmination of all his previous albums, not to mention that it perfectly sums up the historical era from which it emerged. But more importantly he’s made an album that speaks for itself.
-by Curtis Ross
-courtesy of Tampa Tribune
So much for this century. Love is irresistible and happiness is elusive on Gloff’s 16th album. Downbeat rock sets the tone, a turnaround from the giddy electro-pop of last year’s 1987. For all its melancholy, 21st Century Love Songs is one of Gloff’s most satisfying efforts..
-by Carole Giambalvo
-courtesy of St Pete Times
Tampa Bay gay and lesbian community luminary Jeremy Gloff is a sassy advice columnist, lover of cheesy ’80s grooves and all-around funnyman. But on 21st Century Love Songs, he’s straight-up serious. Ominous sounds abound on Depeche Mode-ish “Oh Sweet Boy”, in which Gloff tackles depression and suicide. Gloff describes the album as “one that gives a voice to people who are disappointed and skeptical of happy endings, but ultimately hopeful.”
-by Steph Freeney
Jeremy Gloff is a one of a kind musician who should not be over looked. Though an independent musician in his own right, Jeremy Gloff gives modern day artists a run for their money. Not only does he express so much love and passion for a lot of his favourite artists in his charismatic, fun, insightful, emotional and sometimes humourous video reviews you can find on Amazon.com, he also gives his heart on his sleeve in the music he produces and records himself.
I’ve recently recieved this album and have decided to take the time to reflect on each track as to what I think it may be about (I could be way off. LOL!) and give my personal take on the album altogether.
Let’s start by talking about the intro to the album. The intro to the album is edgy and simplistic but gives you a good idea of the treat you are instore for once the tracks start to unfold.
The first official track of the album, “Asocial Love Song”. This song to me sounds like it’s about someone who is alone but wants to be in love, however they don’t want to send the wrong message. The person wants to be alone with someone in order to get to know them before drawing an overall conclusion on what direction the relationship should go. This song jingles your ear instantly, and you can’t help but picture a romantic film in your head with this song.
“Square One” – reminds me of a love gone sour so now you have to go back to the beginning and start all over. Instead of having “Mr/Mrs.For Now” so to speak you want “Mr/Mrs.Right” and in the end you have your heartbroken because the person you were with didn’t want to commit or take the relationship seriously. Up next we have “This Condition”. When I was listening to the lyrics of this song it took me awhile to get an idea in my head about what exactly this song could be about. I think it’s almost like you’re with someone who doesn’t necessarily treat you the best but you can’t help but be in love with them anyway, no matter how much they treat you like garbage you can’t help but want them to love you the way you love them.
“21st Century Love” is a bit of a darker song. It talks about numerous topics, mainly about how the modern world had become so computerized and how there are so many negative things going on in the world that so many close their eyes too. “Coke and Ecstacy”, about someone being so much in love with a person that they can’t bare to be away from them. They never want them to leave, they just want to be with them at any cost.
“Oh Sweet Boy” comes across to me as another dark song. I totally love the video Jeremy put together for this video. I can’t really come up with idea of what the song maybe about but I remember when I first heard this MP3 I knew as soon as I knew the album itself was shipped that I was in store for a very special treat.
“Hey Girl” sounds like a song about a girl who was interested in a boy but when she told him how she truely felt, he rejected her and said he didn’t like her that way so now her friends are telling her to ‘cheer up’ and enjoy her life. That there are many other fish in the sea.
“Clouds” is another song I can’t really come up with an idea of what it could be about, but none the less the lyrics of the song are so scenic and colourful. It can paint a picture in your head. “One Phone Call” sounds like another song about rejection. It’s like you put your life and heart on the line for someone but they don’t show you the same kind of love back, despite how much they tell you that they love you.
“One Phone Call” is about some of Jeremy’s friends who have sadly committed suicide. He shows the love for his dear lost friends and wonders, “why did you do this? Why didn’t you call me? I’m your friend, you could have told me everything.” This is definitely my favourite song on the album by far, the lyrics really hit you right in the heart. I kinda felt like crying when I first heard this song.
“Christine” sounds like its about a girl who was down with life and found herself in a dark place. She eventually found happiness somewhere and just when it seemed like life was throwing her a bunch of lemons, something happened – almost like the clouds had parted, the rain washed away and the sun shone down on her and smiled at her.
“Broken Pieces” reminds me of a conflicted romance. It’s like one of those romances where you’re madly in love with someone but you know they’re not necessarily right for you but you’re so much in love you can’t help but still want them.
“So Much In Love” is a cover of the Jill Jones song. I love this long and lyrically it sounds like it’s about being with someone and you so much want to be ‘the one’.
“From Afar” seems to be talking about how maybe love from a distance is the best way to go because of the fear of getting too close and everything crumbling down on you.
As for the other interludes – June ’09 and December ’09, they fit in perfectly and add something special to the album.
So all in all I’ll give Jeremy Gloff five out five stars for this album. I think Jeremy did a great job tackling each and every aspect of romance on this album. When you listen to this album you can feel the passion that Jeremy brings to his songs and how genuine and sincere he is not just as an artist but as a person.
In today day and age, music lacks a lot of passion and emotion. Britney Spears singing about wanting people to “If You Seek Amy” and Pussycat Dolls forgetting their approaching 30 and have yet to grow up, Beyonce just being annoying and thinking she can actually sing when really her voice is like hearing nails on a chalk board and listening to a cat have screaming diahrea.
Jeremy Gloff is a true, genuine talent who pours his heart into his music and when you listen to his songs you can tell he truly loves the music he creates and always gives 110% of his heart as a gift to those who take the time to look and search a little deeper into the music scene to give indie musicians the limelight and recognition that is very well deserved; more deserved than some of the so called ‘talents’ out there today.
I definitely recommend you check out this album. It is too amazing to go unnoticed, and I think if there is anyone who has gone threw a hard time with romance or finding love – you should take the time to listen to this album, I think people could pick up this album and really relate to it.
I love this this album. This is the first album in a very long time that I can honestly say I enjoy and love from beginning to end. I’d bet if Jeremy mailed this album to any of his favourite artists they’d probably like they what hear.
Like I said though – I’m sure I’m probably way off as to what the songs meanings are but as I listened to the album and read along to the lyrics on Jeremy Gloff’s website these are the ideas I got into my head.