Best Albums of 2008: #5: Gentleman Jesse & His Men: Gentleman Jesse & His Men

5. Gentleman Jesse and His Men- Gentleman Jesse and His Men

There is a power pop revival happening in the ATL, the kind that shoves all of the crappy pop punk bands out of the way and evokes something much older and more authentic. That this revival is occurring within what appears to be a community of old school punk rockers is curious but also reveals true artistry and a dedication to the craft of music. Gentlemen Jesse and His Men pay homage to old school power pop without being too sentimental and even without following that much in the footsteps of bands like the Exploding Hearts, to whom they are compared a lot. The Modern Lovers comparison is much more accurate, IMO. Gentleman Jesse would have been a worthy adversary and competitor for Jonathan Richman if they had appeared a few decades earlier, though I feel like they have a few albums to go before producing something that influential.

That said, this album is so nostalgia-evoking that its hard not to love it in its totality, even if it does at times get repetitive. It is a homage to a very different moment in musical history, and it pays this tribute skillfully, albeit at times with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Best of all, it creates a contemporary space for sweetness and poppy beats in a musical in a moment and local scene defined by its edginess. These songs have helped me survive many hours of ATL traffic, boring late nights, and lonely hours in which my record player was my only solace. And, it’s kind of cool to see these guys walking around in my neighborhood, too.

Related posts:
Best of 2008: #6: Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes
Best of 2008: #7: Okkervil River: The Stand-ins
Best of 2008: #8: MGMT: Oracular Spectacular
Best of 2008: #9: Streetlight Manifesto: Somewhere in the Between
Best of 2008: #10: M83: Saturdays=Youth
Best of 2008: #11: TV On the Radio: Dear Science
Best of 2008: #12: Mount Eerie: Lost Wisdom
Best of 2008: #13: Cloud Cult: Feel Good Ghosts
Best of 2008: #14: Ratatat: LP3
Best of 2008: #15: The Submarines: Honeysuckle Weeks
Best of 2008: #16: Grand Archives: S/T
Best of 2008: #17: Yelle: Pop-up
Best of 2008: #18: Parenthetical Girls: Entanglements
Best of 2008: #19: The Gaslight Anthem- The '59 Sound
Best of 2008: #20: Billy Bragg- Mr. Love and Justice
Best of 2008: Intro


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