The Junior Varsity is back with an all new album Cinematographic under the Victory Records imprint. The Chicago fivesome still turn out the same pop/alt-rock they have become known for here. But this album definitely shows a little maturity in terms of the band’s sound. After a non-stop, almost two year tour for their last Victory release Wide Eyed, the band finally started writing new tracks for this twelve song CD. This marks their third full length release since the bands conception in 2002.
When you think of the reality of being a rock star, this band can recount many bad memories towards achieving that goal. There have been the robberies – most notably, the theft of a lot of their merch and personal property on the eve of a UK tour. They also had their share of bad shows and experienced financial misery.
Though there has been a band lineup change, the band have managed to get past the bad and focus on the good. The band knew they had something that would help them, determination. Still a young band in the scene, they have gotten past high school, and have now focused on adulthood.
On this album, the opening track “I Went Blind” contains a little more alt-rock ala Taking Back Sunday making for a nice introduction to the album. I could easily see this track getting some radio play. “The Sky” sounds like more of an indie-rock song with a catchy chorus. Then there is “St. Louis,” where strangely the vocals remind me of They Might Be Giants in some areas. Still, the song upholds it’s specialty as typical alt-rock music .
“The Greatest” not only has exceptional lyrics, but also is a well rounded song. I like everything about this song. It’s got a style to it, where the second you listen you want to hear it again because you feel as if you missed something.
My favorite track on this CD is the self-titled “Cinematographic”. It’s a lot different from the other tracks. There is saxophone, which makes it sound all so classy while accompanying the bittersweet vocals. Other notable tracks on this disc are the indie-rock like song “Lungs,” and the closing track “Under The Radar”.
There is a lot of pop-rock out there I can do without. The Junior Varsity have managed to put out an album that is pop-rock done a little differently. All of the songs capture your attention with the charming vocals, and hold musical synchronization that promises not to annoy you. I have heard their last release Wide Eyed and I can definitely see the difference in the two albums. The Junior Varsity continues to grow up physically and musically, and I hope to see them grab a lot of attention with this album.