The latest release from Secondhand Serenade, Hear Me Now is the third studio album for singer/songwriter John Vesely.
Vesely originally signed with Glassnote in 2006 after coveting the top spot on MySpace's Unsigned Artist's chart. The label soon after re-released Vesely's acoustic effort, Awake. In 2008, Secondhand Serenade returned with A Twist In My Story. The album had a more rounded out sound, with the help from a full band. It's first single, "Fall For You," was a huge success. It was a platinum-certified top 10 CHR Top 40 hit, as well as hitting No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The latest album was produced by Aaron Johnson, who has worked with The Fray, Vesely, as well as Secondhand Serenade drummer Tom Breyfogle. The album was mixed by Mark Endert, who has worked with bands Maroon 5 and Train.
The first couple of songs on the album "Distance" and lead single, "Something More," have a similar vibe to A Twist In My Story. They make a good bridge from the last album to the new one.
When track three, "Stay Away" starts playing, it becomes apparent to the listening audience that they are hearing a new musical side to Secondhand Serenade. The song shows the subtle changes made to Secondhand Serenade's sound. It starts slow, but by the chorus it has a rockin' upbeat that you can't help, but jam out to.
Probably the best track on the album is "You And I." It is so different from both previous Secondhand Serenade albums. The melody is really upbeat and fun, with a bit of a pop feel to it.
I can see a track like "So Long" being a fun sing-a-long when performed live. It's another upbeat track on the album that makes this latest album stand out.
On the flip side, there are a couple of fantastic ballads, "Nightmares" and "World Turns." Both songs have that classic Vesely feel to them, and his distinct voice makes both songs so emotionally powerful.