Reviewed by Andrew W. Griffin
According to the press release accompanying the debut album from Jaron and The Long Road To Love, "Getting Dressed in the Dark," the front man of this group with the long name, Jaron Lowenstein, lets folks know that this album is about love "because that's where I am right now." Lowenstein continues, saying that "I'm not interested in writing stories about doors, or blue skies or whatever. It's not interesting to me right now."
Indeed. Truer words were never spoken.
Profundity is not exactly Lowenstein's strong suit. But then when you've got an album featuring 10 songs addressing both sides of the relationship coin, big brains aren't necessary, hearts on sleeves are.
Two middle-of-the-road pop oriented songs kick off the album. Petals Back on the Rose sounds like the sort of song written for a teen show on the CW. Perhaps this is not unusual considering his connection to writing a song for "Dawson's Creek." Beat Back Love actually has a slightly twangy country feel (think Keith Urban) and a message that feelings of love and like don't always work together
The overwrought and melodic song Without Her Leaving has a dreamy buildup a la Fountains of Wayne's melodic Prom Theme. Lowenstein's quavering voice in the first 30 seconds, along with that Slowdive-ish guitar is worth it all.
Pray For You, the breakout hit for Lowenstein's musical outfit, is an amusing-yet-petty song about a guy who prays for the worst for his ex. I Hope You Hit Traffic also plays on this theme.
Lowenstein and his faceless backing group (he was once one half of Evan and Jaron, a relatively successful pop duo of twins that toured with everyone from Jimmy Buffett to the Dixie Chicks) have actually released a record of tuneful, vaguely appealing country-pop. Sure, it's brimming with lyrical cheese and tasteful production and leans more pop than country, but in the end, it works successfully.