Let Go - Let Go
Release Date: October 4, 2005
Record Label: The Militia Group
I’ll be honest: when The Stereo broke up last year, I didn’t really care. I don’t remember if I simply didn’t like the music when I was younger, or if I just never really gave the band a chance, but either way, I’m pretty bummed right now—after being sent the new Let Go album to review, I started listening to The Stereo’s Rewind and Record to get an idea of where Let Go was coming from (frontman/guitarist Jamie Woolford is the mastermind behind both projects)—and, god damn, I am pissed that I’ve gone the past couple years without Rewind and Record in my rotation. Luckily, Let Go’s self-titled debut picks up right where The Stereo left off: power pop doesn’t get any better than this.
Some of you may be saying, “Power pop? No thanks, I’m too cool for that.” If you don’t give the album a chance on those grounds, that’s your loss, but those who have no problem “admitting” (why must people admit to liking a certain type of music?) that they like pop music will undoubtedly like this CD. Somewhat like Jimmy Eat World, Let Go’s brand of pop is mature, yet still brings all the hooks and ear-pleasing melodies you’d expect from a pop record. While I won’t say it’s a “dark” sounding album, it isn't ridiculously sugar-coated—this isn’t quite music for teeny boppers or the MTV crowd. It’s definitely accessible, but in a different way: I can see this type of music on alternative rock stations for sure.
Woolford’s radio-ready voice is definitely the center point of the band, as his strong vocals guide the rock ‘n’ roll-influenced music with great confidence and power. The music on the album is very pretty much straight-forward rock, but it’s the vocal melodies that give the album its pop sensibility. Songs such as “Bomb Away” and “Almost, Always Maybe” will be lodged in your head for days—I bet you can’t listen to “Bombs Away” without singing its chorus for a week straight : “Save your breath / The only thing that’s left / Bombs away / To bury all the pain.” Nothing too fascinating lyrically, but it’s the stop/go rhythm of the chorus that won’t let you go. “Run & Hide” is downright funky, with a very 70’s-esque bass-line leading the way during the verses alongside a syncopated, dance-inducing guitar rhythm. The production is also very good: the guitars and bass are nice and thick while the drums retain a good amount of clarity.
Once again, The Militia Group has put out another outstanding album—do they have a single bad release? Let Go’s self-titled debut is a masterful execution of pop rock, and if you were a fan of The Stereo, are into Jimmy Eat World or have ever wanted a more high-energy version of The Jealous Sound, I highly recommend picking this CD up.