Jack Antonoff is no stranger to hit music. Whether he’s producing for Taylor Swift and Lorde, or creating his own songs in the bands fun. and Bleachers, he seems to have a good grasp on the songwriting formula.
However, after producing so many hits for other people, Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night makes a strong argument that Antonoff is all out of ideas.
The third studio album from Bleachers, Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night, comes across as unoriginal, like Antonoff is trying to imitate other artists– maybe even The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, who appears on “Chinatown,” one of the few highlights on the record.
Lana Del Rey also joined in on the album, lending her voice to “Secret Life.” Her vocals blend well with the simple, reflective song, though Antonoff’s performance sounds a bit like he’s trying really hard to not sound like he’s trying really hard.
Perhaps the worst thing about this album is the vocal effects. Nearly every moment is filled with echoed singing. I started to get frustrated midway through the album. There are a few tracks on here, like “Don’t Go Dark,” that could benefit immensely from a stripped-back sound.
You’re overdoing it by a mile, Antonoff.
“Stop Making This Hurt” is stylistically a lot more like his previous work. It’s fun and much livelier than other songs on the album, but there’s still something missing.
Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night has the attitude of a Gen Z kid who claims they’re super into the 80s, yet can’t even name a single Prince song. They like the 80s “aesthetic,” but lack any actual knowledge on the era. I guess that notion can also be applied to people who did grow up in the 80s– like Antonoff did.
Bleachers’ two previous records, 2014’s Strange Desire and 2017’s Gone Now, were inspired. They pulled at the listener’s emotions, effortlessly making them feel joyful, melancholic, jubilant, or sorrowful with each track. Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night falls short in every regard. It lacks authenticity.
It also makes me glad I didn’t end up buying those Bleachers concert tickets after all.
It’s a bummer of an album, but has a few moments of originality, and in truth, could be a lot worse, which is why I’m giving it…
Featured image taken from Bleachers – Stop Making This Hurt (Official Video) via bleachers.