"Good Job, Good Effort!": Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. The Speed of Things reviewed
As you'd likely suspect from a couple of bros from the Motor City who call themselves Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. but never actually sing about automobiles, Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott do not take themselves very seriously. You'd suspect the same had they stuck with their original name: Counting Crows, Pt. 2. In honor of these lads, I won't take the indie music review of their second album, The Speed of Things, very seriously, save for the ensuing paragraph.
The Speed of Things is a highly enjoyable bit of dream-pop that both solidifies and expands the band's sound, while further cementing their status as pop savants. It's a more grown-up and polished affair, about what you'd expect for a group's second go-round. The record is a lot of fun, even on the songs that don't really work. The composition is much more layered and refined on The Speed of Things, with occasional flashes of brilliance. "Mesopotamia" in particular is a triumphant piece of song creation. And they certainly have a surplus of pop sensibilities. This record is good, not great, and about three times better than their debut, It's a Corporate World, which I actually enjoyed. All in all, things are looking up for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., and I for one can't wait to see what the band does next.
God I wish they had stuck with Counting Crows, Pt. 2.
<div style="text-align:left;font-size:x-small;margin-top:0;width:640px;"><a href="http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/7d0a635dc4/if-you-didn-t-see-me-then-yo..." title="from Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, John Ennis, and Jay Johnston">If You Didn't See Me (Then You Weren't On The Dancefloor) [Official Video]</a> from <a href="http://www.funnyordie.com/john_ennis">John Ennis</a>
Fun fact about Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s Daniel Zott: He's the guy from the FreeCreditReport.com commercials. He also has written one staggeringly beautiful song to go along with the impressive catalogue he's amassing with Dale Earnhart Jr. Jr.
The Speed of Things got its name from Epstein's musings on the digital age. It also could have come from his musings on literally anything.
J. Epstein won't kiss on the first date, but Daniel Zott will go all the way.
(Just in case you're an idiot: The above paragraph was made up. I obviously have no knowledge first, second, or any hand of either member of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s love life.)
I suppose I have to get semi-serious, or at the very least coherent, to wrap things up here. The Speed of Things is a fine record that's accessible, always light, and oozing pop out of its pores. It's certainly worth a listen or two if you like pop music, and really just music in general.
Now imagine if these guys took themselves seriously. If this is the end result, let's hope they never do.