MEDLEY JUKEBOX - The Art Of Letting Go

Medley Jukebox - The Art Of Letting Go

12 songs
46:29 minutes
***** **


Risen from the ashes of Myein, an alternative rock band that made some local headlines during the Emergenza festivals at the turn of the millennium, Medley Jukebox started apparently quite apparently, with their debut album Tinky Winky Was A Pornstar containing only one song that ran for majestic fifty minutes. The follow-up Francis 4 Coppola saw them recruit vocalist Steve Birtz and revert to more regular song structures. Unfamiliar with both these records, The Art Of Letting Go is my first experience with this Luxembourgish sextet.

Once through the album, you’ll find yourself a little confused about how to describe their music. Alternative rock is the common denominator, but Medley Jukebox seem to have so many influences that it’s hard for them to limit themselves to one specific genre. The twelve songs, all running between two and five minutes, come with playful guitars that at times flirt with math rock, then again use a lot of effects, as on Just Like The Movies where they remind me of Tom Morello. Summernight has all it takes to make it to the national radio charts.

The production was in the able hands of Charel Stoltz, which explains the typical Luxembourgish sound, and at times the festive backing vocals draw parallels to Eternal Tango (although the latter’s sound is far more radio-friendly), while the occasional busy guitar work could be from Mutiny On The Bounty. Steve Birtz’s vocals are probably a matter of taste. At times he sounds ok, and it seems as if he knows what he’s doing, but his nasal singing could use more grittiness and edge.

The Art Of Letting Go is a concept album, retelling the story of Morpheus and Eurydice in a modern setting. I never paid much attention when it came to ancient Greek mythology, and know Morpheus only from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics, so I am not getting into the story, although the booklet could have presented it in a more eye-friendly way. But that’s probably due to the limitations of a self-financed band.

Medley Jukebox certainly won’t start a cultural revolution with The Art Of Letting Go, and while it has its highs and lows, there is certainly plenty to discover. The musicians are all beyond fault, the instrumentation is thoroughly thought through, and somehow I catch myself labelling their chosen direction progressive alternative rock. Fans of At The Drive-In, Mars Volta, Coheed And Cambria should find a lot to like. I appreciate how Medley Jukebox combine familiar alt rock patterns with their experimental attitude, and believe that they still have that grand and luminous moment ahead of them.

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