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June
Make It Blur
Victory Records
www.junerock.com


The music industry is always changing and naturally so is whatever is currently topping the charts. Occasionally, bands will adjust their sound ever so slightly to fit in with that chart topping scene. In the case of June's new album Make It Blur, I have this hunch that that's what happened.

In a time when Fall Out Boy seems to be the band that sets the standards for those that follow, June seems to have fallen nicely in line. In the two years since June's last album If You Speak Any Faster the boys have molded their emo-esque, drama rock into something almost completely different. Starting off the album with "No Time For Sense" was an excellent decision. The octaves in general are much higher with this album and that's made apparent right from the beginning. If their last album was "drama-rock" then this album is "theatrical-rock." The variety of added instruments proves that the band has expanded their knowledge, and in the first song you already get to hear a background of strings. Apparently the '80s are back, or at least they are with "Tempter." The band brought out that power-guitar style that became so popular with people like Rick Springfield. That guitar meshed with a synthesizer, makes for a poppy song perfect for Pretty In Pink. "Your Shadow" is probably the most interesting and intriguing song on the whole album. It starts off very simple with basic chord progressions and a hint of drums. After about a minute the drums speed up, letting you believe the song is going to break out, yet it doesn't. Instead, the synthesizer makes another appearance and magically, just like that, June becomes a boy band, harmonizing in the simplest of ways. At one point in the entire 2:19 of this song, there is a sense of the June you've come to know on the rest of the album. But all in all, I might have saved the two minutes and left this one off. If you're a fan of their earlier work, "Just Don't Let Go" brings back that mellowed-down sound, for at least one song. The album ends slow; a lot slower than it started. The harmonizing in the last song "Southpoint" is nice, very melodic and almost peaceful sounding. The bridges are strong and they do escalate the song, however if you need to take a nap, this would be the song to help you out

Being a fan of their previous album, I wanted to automatically love this one, though what would've possibly worked better was somewhere in between - in between the "drama" and the "theatrical." There's talent and clearly a strong sense of musicianship, but one can't help to think that maybe Infinity On High was playing the background of their recording sessions.

-Rachel Fredrickson


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