I am nowhere naive enough to believe the words in this article will slow or deter June in any way. As my stuffed animal (a dog named Hank) and my comic book-collage mock me in the house of my parents, it’s hard to feel like I have any actual influence. This isn’t a question of power, though. Make It Blur, much like my room and existence, is ordinary. What a foul word. Just a few years ago this sound would have been dandy, even refreshing. But nowadays everyone wants “that” moment; the fleeting sensation where one can close their eyes and drift away from all things unattainable. The last thing we want is to remember how alike everything is and how it always will be. June’s new album is my stuffy bedroom, and I’ll be damned if I spend another day in this prison.
I’ll be the first to admit, I liked If You Speak Any Faster. There was an urgency and attitude about it. Make It Blur is simply a gloopy mess without pizazz. Two made-up words, yes, but they do the job. And oh, I’m sure you saw this coming, it all falls apart in the choruses. “Just Don’t Let Go” teases with a climax that never comes and it relies on a hook lacking sincerity. The song is an indication of most of the album: unconvincing singing, simple guitars and missed chances.
While Fall Out Boy, Panic!, and The Academy Is… have become masters (if there is such a thing) of the short pop song, June are merely apprentices. Those bands’ influences are all over Make It Blur. “Swallowed” only lacks William Beckett and “No Time For Sense” would greatly benefit from a Pete Wentz-style character. He’s misunderstood! Make It Blur is forever within these large shadows, the chess loving younger brother to their football team captain.
The overuse of electronics by pop-rock bands has made a nifty thing quite taboo. Any white guy in dunks can create a snare beat, but some stones are better left untouched (“Finally”). You must see my line of thought by now. I can’t listen to Make It Blur without trying to pinpoint where I (not quite literally) heard these songs before. Naturally I feared the old June lost forever. Not true, and “I’d Lose Myself” proves this. The song is a rough mix of the aforementioned “Big Three,” as it fluctuates with enough stylistic zigzagging to sustain interest. The chorus rests on the wings of Tim Brennan’s high vocals and the piano adds depth rather than simply filling in someone else’s coloring book.
Gee whiz, I think this review had enough clichés scattered throughout to last me a few weeks (days? hours?). I guess without much musical inspiration I am left to my own, vastly under-talented devices. Make It Blur gives me very little to work with, but it will keep less adventurous music fans satisfied until the next slightly mainstream pop band “blows” them away. I thank my lucky stars to not be one of those people.