Jack Antonoff has long since evolved from being the guitarist in fun. to becoming a big-name pop producer, working with the likes of Taylor Swift, Lorde, St. Vincent, Lana Del Rey, and many more. But he’s also got his own band, Bleachers, where he gets to fully explore his emotional power-pop dreams. It can be cheesy & catchy like a John Hughes flick, such as on 2017’s Gone Now (QRO review), or reach something more, as happens at times on Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night.
Now, yes, this is a record that wears its heart on all of its sleeves, and is designed only for those who are interested in that. But when it hits right, it really hits right, such as the oh-so-catchy upswing (sax included) on “How Dare You Want More”. The Springsteen influence isn’t concealed (akin to fellow Boss devotees The Killers on their own recent record, Pressure Machine – QRO review), so much so that Bruce himself guests on “Chinatown”. Antonoff knows his power-pop, like with the killer “Stop Making This Hurt”. Not every song ascends those heights, certainly not, but the album is a catchy half-hour-plus.
Jack Antonoff has become something of a divisive figure in music circles, getting blame by those who didn’t like the new Lorde record he produced, Solar Power (QRO review), and if you’re not in the mood, if you’re a judgmental hipster, Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night is not for you. But if you like it, you’ll definitely like it.