Released in 2006
-by Sean Daly
-courtesy of The St. Petersburg Times
‘I have written and released 222 songs on 14 albums over the last 12 years. This isn’t something I want to be congratulated or rewarded for . . . I only did this because I was absolutely crazed.’ How’s that for a howdy-do? That’s the way Jeremy Gloff opens the liner notes to new album Now’s the Right Time to Feel Good, an epic-minded exorcism about purging past ghosts and steeling yourself for future ghoulies. With a voice that recalls Michael Stipe in a helium cloud and a piano-driven songwriting style that hovers somewhere between Ben Folds’ snarky epics and R.E.M.’s rolling diary entries, one of Tampa’s favorite eccentrics is often a breathtaking talent, a man capable of gut-wrenching crescendoes and swoony melodies. That said, Gloff is also a bit of a nutter. And I mean that in a good way, too. (For more information on Jeremy Gloff, go to www.jeremygloff.com.)
-customer review courtesy of Amazon.com
I became aware of Gloff’s music mainly because of the delightful video reviews he posts quite frequently here on AMAZON. Since I haven’t seen too many pictorial critiques: I really enjoyed watching a real live person talk about the artists he loves and sharing it with all the world. Much to my surprise (when I read Mr. Gloff’s profile) I found out he has actually written and recorded fifteen or so of his own albums. Naturally, I became intrigued; and decided to purchase one. I chose “RIGHT TIME” because on his posted review he talked about how it was his best produced album, and how it signaled the end of an era to his life (plus the fact that he declares it to be his own personal “epic” of sorts: and I love epic albums). To be honest: I didn’t expect much from this recording. I figured, “Okay, an independent artist who puts out his own records, probably a local star; but…well…maybe he’s good for a couple of decent songs.” Boy, was I wrong. It has been a long time since I’ve heard lyrics that express such depth and brutal honesty as this. For a guy to sing about his personal and emotional (even sexual) trauma is difficult enough: but to do so within the framework of an exquisitely crafted, highly melodic, intoxicating swirl of a pop/rock/indie release is worthy of every accolade you can name. And even though his voice takes a little getting used to (as it tends to be a little wispy in tone): he uses it to such great effect and with such passion that it really doesn’t matter all that much (especially when Lea McCarthy and the rest of his background vocalist are there to lend him firm support). “NOW’S THE RIGHT TIME TO FEEL GOOD” is an extraordinary personal and musical statement. From the piano-led opener “The Needing” to the charming all-grown-up closer “Be Careful Darrell” (in which Jeremy gives advice to a younger version of himself while saying goodbye to the past – all in one heartbreaking soliloquy): every single track shines with purpose, clarity, and a musical ingenuity that is (in every sense of the word) breathtaking. I personally couldn’t get “Dancing In Your Blue”, “Vagabond Cadence”, and “Til I Grow Up For A Change” out of my head for a week. And whether or not you agree or disagree with the gay lifestyle: Gloff’s writing is so personal, so intense, and so real that it commands respect. As a result the record hits the listener on such an emotional level that it draws you into Jeremy’s world, and expresses a universal need for love and self-love and forgiveness of one’s own faults. If there is anyone who can sit through songs like “Flight #7”, “My Silencer”, or the trenchant and overwhelming culture commentary of “No Longer Enough” (where he talks about being “complimented most when I dress like my friends” and not to “accept this life” as “it’s all routine/it’s all vice”) and not be changed or moved as a human being: then they must have something seriously wrong with their spiritual makeup. However, if you are a fan of John Lennon’s “PLASTIC ONO BAND” LP or Liz Phair’s equally brutal confessional “EXILE ON GUYVILLE”: then “NOW’S THE RIGHT TIME TO FEEL GOOD” will certainly be a welcomed addition to your collection. It’s definately on my top ten “desert island” discs. God bless you, Jeremy! And may you continue to shine like a “satellite” so bright!
HIGHEST BILLBOARD ALBUM CHART POSITION: None.
HIT SINGLES: None.
-by Scott Harrell
-courtesy of The Weekly Planet
Tampa’s most prolific melancholy-pop specialist returns with his 14th (!) album, an 18-song opus. Now’s the right time is Gloff’s most lush, eclectic and uneven effort in a while. We get more than enough of his piano-driven, intensely personal vignettes; shades of hope, heartbreak and self-realization are delivered with loads of emotional melody, and lyrics that should sound hokey (“Spent years worried I was losing my hair/ I didn’t care that I’ve been losing my mind”) but somehow don’t in Gloff’s earnest, reaching tenor. There are plenty of great tunes (and guest appearances by local peers) here, but this time I’ve gotta agree with those who say Gloff tries to pack too many songs and ideas into his releases. 3 stars
-by Curtis Ross
-courtesy of The Tampa Tribune
Know Jeremy’s music, know Jeremy. Jeremy Gloff is a lyrical diarist who makes Alanis Morissette seem secretive. Fortunately, he’s more direct and averse to metaphor straining. This is one of the prolific Gloff’s most accessible releases (222 songs on 14 albums in 12 years, according to the liner notes) with bright production and strong, mostly keyboard-led melodies.
-from Creative Metro
In his 14th self-released album, Jeremy Gloff gives a subdued and soulful look at the soundtrack of his life. Like so many club nights and mornings after, Gloff creates a nostalgic look forward to an uncertain future with himself and a past racked with abuse, neglect and confusion. Aptly placed humor and down-to-earth magnetism create more than just a collection of 19 songs on a disc (a number which Gloff mentions he has received several chastising remarks about). More so it’s a musical scrapbook with which to keep his memories alive and yet incarcerated. One wonders whether he writes more for his audience than for himself or vice versa.
His songs are unified by his stylistic approach—somewhere between pop and folksy—connecting the emotions he feels with the words and melodies he writes. Does he hit the mark? At times Gloff falls short of reaching that masterful balance between emotional outburst and calculated masterpiece. Mismatches in quality between Gloff’s strained, gutteral vocals with backings of church-style vibrato lend to this problem as well as badly placed refrains. These songs would be well placed in a heartfelt film following shallow characters through a mediocre plot line.
It seems as if Gloff’s songs are all waiting to explode—and yet never reach that epitome; that climax that would allow them to burst open from the seams and let all these pent-up emotions flow around the listener. There is a certain unfinished quality about the whole album.
You can, however, hear the honest love for music that is his. His is the type of dedication that comes from having spent a large portion of his life putting out record after record, only for the gratification of having done so.
What Gloff wants—what he needs—is to share with the world. His past, his present, and the possibilities for the future. And he is doing so now in a way that he can cleverly disguise the rawness of his pain: through artful song.
Final Notes: a good listen, worth the price. Look at the 19 songs as a bonus—like a double album.
-by Jennifer Layton
-courtesy of IndieMusic.com
Artist: Jeremy Gloff
CD: Now’s the Right Time to Feel Good
Home: Tampa, Florida
Style: Classically-Influenced Pop
Quote: “While it’s obvious that I’d be recommending this album to therapists as a case study, I think Gloff has something to say to everyone who’s had to work through some serious issues.”
Good God, there’s a picture of him smiling.
I reviewed Jeremy Gloff’s The Orange Songs back in 2004, when he was still working through anger and rejection and some pretty messed-up boyfriends. The cover of that CD featured a black and white photo of a small-looking Gloff, sitting in what looked like a hotel room with a look most people reserve for their police mug shots. By contrast, the photo on the back of Now’s the Right Time to Feel Good is a full-color shot of Gloff looking upward and laughing.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this is all happiness and light, though. These 18 tracks continue Gloff’s psychiatric journey of recovery from a rough upbringing and failed relationships. The difference is that he’s moved beyond lashing out and is now freeing himself instead. And yes, I said 18 tracks. Gloff pauses in the middle of the album to apologize for this with self-effacing humor in a 30-second track called “$1,000 Savings Interlude.” I did struggle with the idea that this album was a bit too long to carry kind of intensity all the way through, but in Gloff’s defense, the hour and ten-minute running time is about the length of a therapy session. The timing is almost appropriate.
These piano-fueled songs feel like a rock opera with classical influences. As always, Gloff is intense and internal, using his music to work through a lifetime of changes and discoveries. Just as the music here is more uplifting and adventurous than the previous album, the lyrics are filled with understanding and hope. He’s done wallowing. As he states emphatically in “Blow Away,” “no more feeling like the back seat in a one-seat car.”
He sings of freeing himself from unhealthy relationships and seeing a meth-addicted ex-boyfriend with a sense of compassion and concern while resisting the urge to get caught up in his world again (hear all about it in the compelling “Dancing in Your Blue”). He sings about putting the past aside and moving on. And he does it with spirited, high-energy, passionate songs.
The standout is the track that gives us the album’s title. “My Silver Lining” is a surprising change in tempo – it actually feels like an old-time country gospel song. It begins the second half of the album, entitled “My Future Because of My Present.” By placing this song here, kicking off this new viewpoint, Gloff makes it very clear where the rest of this album is going.
While it’s obvious that I’d be recommending this album to therapists as a case study, I think Gloff has something to say to everyone who’s had to work through some serious issues. The key, just like any 12-step program will tell you, is to take what you need and leave the rest. One of the memories Gloff brings up several times involves his many years as a fixture on the club scene, losing himself in the music and dancing and excitement of mysterious encounters before realizing how empty it was all starting to feel. As someone who used to numb herself in the club scene as well, I’m surprised to find that I have had the same reaction and emergence into daylight as this sweet gay boy I wouldn’t expect to have so much in common with.
It’s worth a patient listen to find what you connect to in here. If nothing else, the music can certainly lift your mood. Gloff may be working on his own therapy through his music, but he offers healing as well. It’s cheaper than therapy, and the session is a good 10 minutes longer.