Fronted by Fun lead guitarist Jack Antonoff, Bleachers is the musician’s side project and it might even be better than the nationally known and widely acclaimed threesome we recognize him for.
Bleachers’ aesthetic is different from Fun’s, but the music is just as infectiously catchy. Where Fun relies on Nate Ruess’ vocals to deliver the proverbial punch, Strange Desire is rich with lush, verdant instrumentation. Heavy synths and keyboards serve up dense, teeming tracks that are a joy to listen to. The album starts out strong, leading with “Wild Heart,” a magical, ’90s-inspired journey that builds beautifully for a roaring crescendo with the refrain of each chorus. The album continues similarly with the warm and sunny “Rollercoaster,” followed shortly by the album’s lead single, “I Wanna Get Better,” which is big, powerful, and fun. Dude, the guitars are just fucking amazing.
Midway through, the album does become slightly tedious. It’s front-loaded with heavy-hitters packed with dramatic rises and falls, so by the time we get to “Take Me Away,” the seventh track, the two-and-a-half-minute song takes some time to get into, even if it is short. Because we’ve been spoon-fed the good stuff up until now, we really have to lend this track an unoccupied ear, and it does deliver, if not until the two-minute mark.
Just 11 songs long, Strange Desire promises some sweet summer jams for synth-heavy electro pop lovers. While it might not be everyone’s cup of tea (we can’t all love electro pop), there’s no doubt Antonoff’s side project shows tons of talent.