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ALBUM REVIEW: JEFF ROSENSTOCK “No Dream”

 

Jeff Rosenstock – NO DREAM

REVIEW BY Michelle Cooney

Long Island’s indie punk Jeff Rosenstock dropped his fourth studio album, NO DREAM, on the world without any notice on May 20th. Consistent with his body of work, this is an eccentric blend of indie, punk, pop, and rock. His versatile backing musicians sail through genres with ease, creating an on-target backdrop for Rosenstock’s intense, high-energy vocals.

Present are the ever-clever rhymes and angsty lyricism. NO DREAM is full of significance for the current state of the world. The sociopolitical message is especially strong in title track “N O  D R E A M”: “They were picking up the bodies on TV/When I caught a reflection of you and me/Staring back at us while frozen on the screen.” The song evolves into the repeated yelling “It’s not a dream,” plausibly a call to his listeners to wake the hell up.

In “The Beauty of Breathing”, he offers a ballad of self-reflection that is certainly relatable: “I’m tired of knowing what about myself is wrong/But never mustering up the resolve to really try to change it.” The track “Old Crap” stands out with its acoustic folk-punk intro building to an emotional “I’m tired of the truth/Yeah I’m tired and I’m through.”

Rosenstock is a poet for a generation of sleep-deprived, painfully self-aware individuals. NO DREAM might sound like a lot of fun on the surface, but its implications are anything but shallow.

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