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We Shot the Moon - A Silver Lining Album Cover

We Shot the Moon - A Silver Lining

Reviewed by
8.0
We Shot the Moon - A Silver Lining
Release Date: October 13, 2009 (Digital) / November 17, 2009 (Physical)
Record Label: Afternoon Records
You heard it here first: Jonathan Jones is going to be a superstar one of these days. He's got all the talent, the songwriting ability and a commanding voice that has made his previous outfit, Waking Ashland, and current band, We Shot the Moon, beloved projects on all sides of the pop spectrum. Plus, not many bands celebrate the piano these days besides maybe that Andrew McMahon fellow (and on occasion, a few others). For their much-anticipated follow-up to 2007's Fear and Love, We Shot the Moon teamed up with producer Mike Green (Paramore, the Matches) to build on that familiar sound Jones had been stumbling around after 2005's gorgeous Composure made a name for himself with Waking Ashland. That isn't to say Fear and Love was bad, it was just lacking. Momentary pieces of charming piano-laden pop can only tickle your fancy for so long, however, it was quite evident that We Shot the Moon was onto something.

Now that there have been some personnel changes and Jones has been working diligently on his own solo work, A Silver Lining is a tad murkier with bright spots peeking their way through (hence the album's title). It creates a depth that manages to allow We Shot the Moon to be a real band this time around and fully adapt to become a fixture on the forefront of pop music. They haven't hit their stride like Relient K, perhaps, but with their sophomore effort, it's clearer what the band is becoming.

Getting there with confidence might be one key role in making A Silver Lining a step up. However, despite that adjustment, it feels like We Shot the Moon is holding themselves back a little too much. At times, you're just waiting for Jones to rip into a hook so wide and so recognizable, it physically pains you when it doesn't come to fruition. Take "Amarillo" for example: once it bites into the crust and eyes the meat in the middle... you are ready for it to hit your senses like a Five Dollar Footlong. Then? It never takes advantage of the sweet set-up it provides, which just makes you sit there, jaw open looking around for who took your sandwich (probably Michael Strahan). "Amy" is a tender serenade that orchestrates a lovely sense of direction for what We Shot the Moon and Jones are best at.

First single, "The Bright Side," feasts upon itself with a quick shot to the stomach and just enough edge to make it a brilliant melodic gut-punch of a song. "Red Night" plays on the same idea and shows the band's more 'raucous' side (yes, they can play rough) and "In Good Time" has little Weezer quality to it. The title track might be one of the most shining moments here, which is a pleasant irony to its title, and it's one of the best songs Jones has written with the band thus far. However, opening track "Miracle" blankets itself in cliche and fails to make itself stand out; it's simply not the kind of cut that grabs your attention upon first listen. "Candles" never gains that momentum you expect from a closing cut and feels like a real tease for its three minutes. That might be the circular problem facing A Silver Lining: it's good, but not great... yet it has the potential to be Composure's sister album. Obviously these are two different bands, but the same general idea and the same voice providing the material. Green never pushes the band to the brink, and he's capable of doing it -- and so are We Shot the Moon.

The only thing stopping We Shot the Moon from doing precisely what their name suggests is themselves. They build it all up to the perfect point but never grab that bull by its horns. Guitarist Jason De La Torre sets the pace with his effervescent strums of electric life, and Trevor Faris never tries to go overboard on the drumkit. It's Jones' massaging of the ivories and Adam Lovell's jaunty bass rhythms that heighten the melodies and give We Shot the Moon its dose of adrenaline... but when the guys never quite capitalize on their own sheer pop inventiveness, it's practically criminal.

Jones is a wonderful vocalist and creates moodier songs for A Silver Lining, but feels so restrained by the time the hook comes around, it's like a slight slap to the face. The album is certainly a refreshing alternative on the pop front, and We Shot the Moon will almost definitely treat your ears to a delightful 35 minutes of gentle pop. For their next effort, let's hope the weather clears up and that more partial sun breaks are in the forecast. Besides, this is only the beginning of something special.

Recommended if You LikeWaking Ashland's Composure; Melee's Devils and Angels; Jack's Mannequin's The Glass Passenger; Relient K's Five Score and Seven Years Ago
Choice Cuts"A Silver Lining," "Red Night" and "The Bright Side"


Track Listing1. Miracle
2. Woke Her Up
3. Should Have Been
4. The Bright Side
5. Come Back
6. Red Night
7. In Good Time
8. A Silver Lining
9. Amarillo
10. Amy
11. Candles
Band MembersJonathan Jones – vocals/piano
Jason De La Torre – guitar
Adam Lovell – bass
Trevor Faris – drums


Online VitalsOfficial Site | Official Myspace
PurchaseiTunes | Amazon MP3
This review is a user submitted review from Chris Fallon. You can see all of Chris Fallon's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 43
04:05 AM on 11/05/09
#2
cereal4life
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Dope review, Chris. I've never heard of these guys before but this has certainly piqued my interest. Relient K and Jack's Mannequin? Yes, please!
05:22 AM on 11/05/09
#3
Gregory Robson
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Well said on all points. But dude, you can't say not many bands work with a piano these days. Off the top of my head, The Fray, Keane, Lydia, and a host of singer/songwriters. A horrible overexaggerated statement.
06:52 AM on 11/05/09
#4
i12punk
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Well said on all points. But dude, you can't say not many bands work with a piano these days. Off the top of my head, The Fray, Keane, Lydia, and a host of singer/songwriters. A horrible overexaggerated statement.
Ben Folds, Copeland, Sherwood, Mae...
07:03 AM on 11/05/09
#5
honestykills
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good review. love this album.
07:18 AM on 11/05/09
#6
gr33ndayfr3ak
www.nickferran.com
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Great review, awesome album. 'The Bright Side' is one of the best pop rock songs I have ever heard.
07:43 AM on 11/05/09
#7
DanielJames
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Excellent review. Sums up my thoughs nicely. To me, We Shot the Moon are so, so close to having the right formula they need to acheive their own sound, but are missing one or two ingredients. I can never place my finger on it, but I feel like there's always just something missing when I listen to them. This album is definitely a step up from their debut though so it's crazy to think about how much better these guys can amd will get for their third album.
08:15 AM on 11/05/09
#8
Facemelter42
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Saw these guys play an acoustic set a couple weeks ago. Wow, just wow. Jonathan Jones really is an incredible singer. Even in a bare bones acoustic setting, his voice is captivating. If you haven't listened to this band, CHECK THEM OUT!
08:47 AM on 11/05/09
#9
Holly HoX!
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Weird. I kept hearing this band was shit. Maybe I'll check them out now. Good review.
08:55 AM on 11/05/09
zonto
Etymotic ER4 + Headamp Pico = <3
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This review is much more favorable than the last one. Personally I think they suck and walked out during their headlining tour set
09:20 AM on 11/05/09
James RE Hughey
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Have to jump on the piano comment as well because it is definitely being used today often and well at times. Take that comment away however and the review is spot on.
09:23 AM on 11/05/09
rawspinner
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09:25 AM on 11/05/09
rawspinner
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do you think they will be compared to SC or JM because of the piano, or has Jones and company created a record that stands apart from similar bands?
09:27 AM on 11/05/09
MarsEatWorld
This is it.
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love the review, Chris.
09:51 AM on 11/05/09
uglystar03
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I absolutely love this band. I've seen them a couple times this year, and they are spot on every time. I think they are one of maybe five bands I've seen live this year.

A Silver Lining is definitely top 5 material for me this year.

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