released in 2016
-by Jeff Fettes
Jeremy Gloff is releasing his most personal record to date. Those Who Survived finds the songwriter coming into his own with a collection of pop songs layered with guest-artists, sophisticated production, deep lyrics and his most self-assured vocal to date. His first studio album of all new material in three years, Survived marks the songwriter’s homecoming to electronic music after a more folky detour on his 2013 crowd-funded hit, Inside of Blue Buildings. Via social media, we learned he’d decided to turn his creative powers loose in Logic Pro X for the first time, resulting in a batch of songs that nimbly marry a simple electronic sound with Jeremy’s signature pop chord structures. He polished up the set by working with a handful of collaborating producers/mixers including the enigmatic Ms. X, who it was rumored asked to remain nameless in the credits. Whatever disagreements happened between the two during the production of this album, the synergies between their styles is undeniably sonically fascinating. The well constructed songs have picked up a level of sophistication that makes the statement: this is pop art. This is his Rumors. His Velvet Rope. His Purple Rain.
In fact, Those Who Survived finds Jeremy paying tribute to many of his well-documented musical influences. “Compulsions”, with it’s candy-coated bouncy sound recalls Janet Jackson’s brand of fun music with serious topics (note: avant-garde pieces “For Will” and “For Those Who Survived” also set the mood like classic Janet interludes). “Exit The Circle” fuses expressive pulsating electronic effects with some of the most powerful lyrics of Jeremy’s career and invokes Madonna from her Ray of Light/Music/American Life period, showcasing Jeremy’s ability to combine his folk side with his pop side. Surreal afterlife meditation “Running Infinitely” explores the “mysteries of God and Death” and would do Stevie Nicks proud with its poetry while some of the singing style sounds Natalie Merchant-esque (just listen to the vocal runs at the end of “Exit The Circle”). We have seen all of these influences throughout Jeremy’s career but here they’re merged into a unique artistic voice that meshes effortlessly. This is Jeremy Gloff fully born after 20 years making records.
Looking back on those 20 years is first single “When I Was 19” which musically recaptures the freedoms of youth and lyrically contrasts it with the baggage we accumulate from ‘surviving’ into mid-life: “And Troy hates his job like Rose hates her kids/And me I’m too calm and way too comfortable/I wanna feel alive again”. The bouncy song makes us feel young, just as it places us back in at the time in Jeremy’s life that inspired this collection of songs. “19” is entertaining enough but it really is just a chapter in the story this album tells. Although Jeremy’s made a musical career out of revealing himself with a personal transparency that would make Alanis Morisette blush, this album is perhaps his most honest. Not just an entertaining collection of provocative ideas, thoughts and feelings (like we saw with previous efforts like This), Those Who Survived plays more like a film or novel. This is Jeremy Gloff’s diary and he’s letting us read it. You won’t be able to put it down.
-by J.J. Vicars
If Jeremy Gloff’s latest album Those Who Survived could be summed up in one word that word would be ‘epic’.
The only comparison of any relevance is to say that what Exile On Main Street is to the Stones Those Who Survived is to Gloff. Like Exile there is no individual song. Song-by-song analysis is moot. The album must be taken as a whole. It demands that you put it on a good stereo, turn up the volume, and allow yourself to enter his world.
A surreal soundscape opens the album drawing the listener in. It winds through the streets of that world stopping to visit with the characters who people it. It builds to its own crescendo then brings us back gently with soundscapes of its people, their parting words to the one who has captured them for all time. Having been to his world we come back with a newfound sense of our own.