“Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night” is Bleachers’ classic version of gloomy pop thinking

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0

Bleachers frontman and record producer Jack Antonoff knows well what makes a great album a success. Working with artists like St. Vincent, Taylor Swift and Lorde, Antonoff seems to specialize in creating eye-catching but meaningful pop hooks and retrospective lyricism, a calling card he has left on a number of successful releases, including several of his own.

While considerable buzz for his other notable projects may threaten to overshadow his solo efforts, Take out the sadness of Saturday night, Bleachers’ third album, is yet another Antonoff work that should not be overlooked. Released on July 30, the album combines the sense of ’80s loving languor with the pressing need to break free from the shackles of past relationships, both platonic and romantic.

Antonoff follows the centuries-old path of turning his pain into good music and turning a new leaf. With every song on Take out the sadness of Saturday night, he strives to leave the past behind and start a new chapter in his life. This is mostly evidenced by his evocative lyrics, projected frustration, and melodic synth breakdowns that strike a chord with listeners.

“91” is a painting of Antonoff’s childhood trauma co-written by poet Zadie Smith, chronicling the anxieties and confusion he felt growing up: having no control over his life and over whom he was in the process of becoming. “Hey I’m here, but I’m not / Just like you I can’t leave,” Antonoff sings in reference to his mother and late sister, bringing home his attachment to the past that lasts throughout. of the album. With an excellent arrangement of strings to accompany its lyrics, the track is a touching start for the record.

“Chinatown” is the next step in the artist’s journey of introspection, grappling with his roots in New Jersey, changing course to leave home, find love and the identity crisis that follows. With the voice of legendary compatriot Bruce Springsteen from Garden State, “Chinatown” is steeped in nostalgia. Soft guitar and synths swaddle Antonoff’s deep, calm voice and provide a respite from the song’s message.

Take out the sadness of Saturday night is an amalgamation of sounds and emotions from the entire independent musical universe – it is a sample board, the ultimate indie tasting palette. While some songs follow the experimental indie pattern of the late 2000s, others feature elements of modern synthwave, rooting the album in the proven formula of songs about simple desire.

The ironic “Stop Making This Hurt” and “Don’t Go Dark” pay a direct homage to the 80s, bathed in synths, choral harmonies punctuated by multiple voices and the energy of a powerful ballad. Despite the sad titles, the instrumentals are energetic, intended to convey the mantras that Antonoff says to himself to face his suffering.

In an impressive feat, “Secret Life,” starring Lana Del Rey, packs the album’s biggest emotional punch, right down to the melancholy pinches of the guitar. Antonoff’s voice tends to command, but Lana’s barely there voice fits the song’s secret love theme. While the lyrics aren’t as poignant or intense as they could be, the overall atmosphere created by the song largely makes up for it.

If anything, the album is likely to add some sadness to your night out, but in a good way. He ostensibly tears away the feelings nourished with the simple but universal lyricism of Antonoff. Adopting a stripped-down musical style, Antonoff straddles the line between leaning on the cornerstone of standard indie pop and adding minor instrumental and narrative flairs to distinguish his album from the plethora of other nostalgic records. At just 34 minutes, it’s a brief whirlwind of emotions.

With luck, Take out the sadness of Saturday night can even help you get over the past. Otherwise, it will at least provide a fascinating personal look at Antonoff’s clearly talented mind.

Pooja Bale takes over the music. Contact her at [email protected]. Tweet her on @callmepbj.

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