So we begin with “Distance”, which describes an emotional drive on the metaphorical highway of life. And oh boy, this is a journey of serious contemplation. Secondhand Serenade’s primary member John Vesely cries: “…miles and miles pass by, and I’m alone. My eyes feel like they’re bleeding, but I’m just crying.” Yikes.

Just when you’re ready to pull Vesely out from his melancholy with a slap round the face and a stern-toned “get over it”, he ups the tempo in track three, “Stay Away.” The sudden change of pace is almost distracting enough that the lugubrious flavor of the lyrical content as seen in the previous two songs fades away; but not quite, as yet more flecks of despondency fall out from the starry mix and into your ears like an aural meteor shower of categorical emo-pop wistfulness.

Hear Me Now is Secondhand Serenade’s third studio album, and it’s clear that musically, Vesely has grown up a lot. The use of subtly distorted drums contrasts with the acoustics of string sections and piano parts and the production makes the album wholly pleasant to listen to.

The final song of the album is the eponymous single, and features Juliet Simms of Automatic Loveletter. The song builds up wonderfully, letting the vocal harmonies of the duet carry the album into something of a charming resolution. But, like the rest of the album, it isn’t spectacular.

Hear Me Now has a lot of commercial appeal; anyone who has experienced any kind of love-induced emotional anguish will be able to find some relation to the lyrics, and the songs are sound, both instrumentally and in terms of arrangement. This is good radio-friendly music, but the niceness just becomes a little too tedious for it to be anything other than transient pop.  [ END ]

Track Listing:

01. Distance
02. Something More
03. Stay Away
04. You and I
05. Is There Anybody Out There
06. Reach For The Sky
07. Only Hope
08. So Long
09. The World Turns
10. Nightmares
11. Hear Me Now

Run Time: 40:40
Release Date: 08.03.2010