Secondhand Serenade/Hear Me Now


Hear Me Now [+digital booklet]Secondhand Serenade is an acoustic rock band, led by vocalist and guitarist John Vesely. Vesely has released three studio albums to date under the name Secondhand Serenade: Awake in 2007 and A Twist in My Story in 2008. The debut album used multitrack recording to create the sound of a band using technology,[3] while the second album took a different path, using a proper band and an orchestra to establish a more accomplished sound.[4] Vesely’s third album, Hear Me Now was released August 3rd, 2010.

Distance—-Beginning gentle and ghostly, this is layered with nice strings and a vocal so full of melancholy, you almost feel a weight on the back of your head. The song does open up and become a bit larger and layered, but it is impossible to shake the sadness and darkness that the lyrics plant in your brain. This is pretty fantastic.

Something More—-With this song, there is little to celebrate as well. The lonely piano sets the tone for the song…as the vocal enters it is wrought with emotion and loneliness. The vocal is so remarkably clear…allowing you to fully catch every word and lose yourself in the true heaviness of the song. This is nice….but really…you have to be in the right frame of mind to listen to this.

Stay Away—-Although the heaviness and emotion is still here, this opens up really nicely…giving the band a chance to really let loose and play. The drums are magnificent and the guitars pick up and slow at a moments notice. The voice..again, is clear as day and allows you to really understand the intensity of this guy. This is brighter, but still steeped in a heaviness.

You And I—-With what sounds like some electronics at the onset, this song is off to a much brighter start from the very onset. the vocal is so nice…this is excellent. The chorus is a huge catchy affair that sticks in your brain…quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I must investigate this band a bit more…I’m kinda loving this.

Is There Anybody Out There—-Returning to full-scale melancholy and introspection, this literally tears at your heart. The chorus is really nice…delivering a huge lyrical line and some great acoustic style guitar. This is human emotion laid bare for all to see and feel. The best way to escape pain is to share it…John does this remarkably well. The end of this track is pretty incredible!

Reach For The Sky—-Suffering from too much of a good thing, this song sounds so much like the previous five it becomes hard to differentiate them. The chorus comes alive, but lacks a certain energy for me. I don’t dislike this, but this is a bit rote after a period of time.

Only Hope—-This is better from the onset…allowing some nice drums and an airy feel to the instrumentation. The vocal is again a bit intense and emotional…the chorus sounding too much like all the rest…but the swirls of instrumentation and quasi-orchestration gives this a much more layered feel. I like this!

So Long—-Finally……the band opens up the song with an aggressive sound and it continues even after the vocal enters. This borders on a nice pop-punk feel…the music is so much more energetic. The chorus will land in your brain and live there for a time…this was really needed…song placement is key. This is awesome…really happy with this.

World Turns—-Returning to a more sedate sound, this is ok though. The vocal is so clear and understandable…it almost seems invasive…hearing every single word that this man feels laid bare and naked. This is brilliance delivered with feeling and true emotion. Really nice…the acoustic guitar is so gentle…you find yourself lost in a daydream in an instant.

Nightmares—-Again, the band delivers a blistering opening…really showing some of their Emo roots…the noise quiets to allow for the entrance of the vocal, but the aggressive nature lies in waiting in the backdrop. This is great…the chorus opens up and is so large…this would play in a nice sized arena very well. Kudos…a definite new favorite band of mine.

Hear Me Now—-The title track and lead off single to this release, this finds the band treading familiar ground. There are some nice strings in the backdrop of the song and a bass line that is just begging to be let loose. None the less, waiting for the chorus is worth the wait. There is a female vocal on this? It provides a nice touch…I really like this…the addition of the orchestration gives the entire thing an even more emotional feel. A great end to a pretty phenomenal release.

****1/2 out of 5

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