Afterglow Radio – Miles Away From Anywhere
Afterglow Radio’s soothing melodic pop-rock will draw you in with their sweeping choruses and then amaze you with their from-the-heart romantic song lyrics. Miles Away From Anywhere, the band’s second full release after 2008′s Find Yourself Again, is an album full of songs about finding true love and dealing with a painful breakup. Musically, Afterglow Radio is comparable to bands like The Fray, All-American Rejects, and Chris Cornell’s solo work. The album is well produced and the band did a great job of weaving different layers of sound and style into each tune.
The album’s intro, “Going” is a likely first single. It starts with a simple piano melody, and then Jeremy Hagen’s melancholy voice swoons in and paints a picture of a relationship in trouble.
“You can feel it through the air, when you sit idle staring, and realize the person looking back at you is numb.”
“Going” is a vocal-centric song that features an easy to sing along with chorus, with the other band members providing harmony. It’s a great introduction to the material on the album.
“Don’t Forget to Breathe” is a simple love song that puts the focus on the lyrics. It’s got a catchy chorus and a positive message.
“You stepped into the moonlight when you got your second chance,
It’s a storybook romance, And you can have it all, if you just wanna let it go,
And you can see it all, if you just learn to let it go.”
Tom O’Keef provides an appropriate blues rock solo to round out the tune.
The heaviest song on the album, “Loss of One,” starts off slowly with a soft piano melody. It quickly turns into an upbeat guitar riff that propels the song in to a crescendo, as singer Jeremy Hagen describes a failed relationship that’s about to end. A musical bridge three minutes into the tune provides the listener with the best vocal harmonies on the album. The song is musically complex and ends suddenly, just like the breakup the singer is describing.
One of the true surprises on Miles Away From Anywhere is the band’s choice of a cover song, “Can’t Stand Losing You,” from The Police’s first album Outlandos d’Amour (1979). Though after listening to Afterglow Radio’s version, I realized this cover is true to the original. I also discovered on the web that the band lists The Police as one of their favorites. To Afterglow Radio’s credit, the reason this cover is so good is that Jeremy’s vocals are dead on while covering Sting, and bass player, Eric Palkovic, turns in a stunning performance. The Police would be proud.
The album closes with a slow-moving blues ballad, “9th Ward,” the most somber tune on Miles Away From Anywhere. Singer Jeremy sounds like Chris Cornell on this as he condemns the government’s slow response to Katrina Victims.
“Wade through history, the once and true lives,
Blood stains all our hands, Since the 9th Ward’s broken down,
We have all been broken, Since the 9th Ward’s Broken down.”
It’s the longest song on the album, and musically, the best. The verses wind through bitter lyrics about how sad the whole affair was. The chorus rushes in like the tidal waters that destroyed lower New Orleans, and the entire band provides backup vocals. A cello adds to the melancholy atmosphere of the song as Tom O’Keef plays a drawn out blues riff on the guitar to close the song. It’s the perfect way to finish the album.
In a world full of radio stars that use synthesizers, electric drums and autotune to create unmemorable pop music, Afterglow Radio stand out from the crowd with their melancholy lyrics, catchy melodies, and true musicianship.
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