Jukebox The Ghost Safe Travels

Jukebox the Ghost must get tired of people yelling out for "Pumped Up Kicks" at their live shows, but that's inevitable considering their awful name. And for some inexplicable reason, far too many of these X the Y bands all sound remarkably similar, in that they all do that anthemic, mainstream pop that will happily fill airwaves 24/7. The Washington band are doing what they've always done on their third album. Like its predecessors, Safe Travels leans heavily on the piano when it comes to melody, but what helps elevate them above the masses is the quality of pop songs. The more immediate tracks owe an obvious debt to Ben Folds and that's when the band are at their best, as their attempts to be more earnest are a tougher proposition. That's why the second half of the record drags and they lose much of the goodwill they've built up with the likes of "At Last" and "Don't Let Me Fall Behind." Jukebox The Ghost need to focus on their strengths rather than their attemps to be taken seriously. (Yep Roc)