Jack and White
- Article by: Jamie McCormick
- Posted: 09/06/2011
Jack and White, an accidental duo out of LA comprised of Brooke White and Jack Matranga, packaged a little bit of idyllic Southern California weather in their new EP Gemini (out now, from June Baby Records). And now they’re sending the rays out to the rest of the country.
At first listen, a driving beat and a simple, hooky, vocal-heavy formula would place the album securely in the pop genre- fitting with White's previous debut and her American Idol days. But with the help of Matranga, White has found a deeper, introspective songwriting voice, and this new project supports it with a very special kind of indie-like pop. Tucked away in the nooks and crannies, you might even find hint of a sound that seems like it might be akin to country.
In the eponymous opener, ethereal synths lead you in, where White creates an enticing melodic landscape with airy vocals that whoosh past the ears like a cooling breeze coming off the Pacific. Beneath the soothing melody of the chorus, Matranga rocks you in a harmony hammock. But he doesn’t let you get too comfortable before a crashing wave of a hook comes barreling in.
The playful vacation atmosphere resurfaces throughout the rest of the album, popping up in the bouncy “Double Trouble” that will make you “move on the double” right along with the music, even though you never really find out why you're in trouble. But frolicsome phrases like “Comment allez-vous? / I'm all right. How are you?” can't help but pep up the spirits and entertain the ears. The softly serenading “Telephone Games” provides a bit of a slow-down – a musical mid-afternoon nap, if you will – right before the slamming beat of “Smoke and Mirrors” wakes you back up.
Though never becoming fully immersed in self-musing, the album does take a turn for the slightly more serious with “Inside Outside,” as White exposes herself with seemingly little reservation. She sings, “Holding my breath through the tunnels of my life / I'm scared to death, but I'm not afraid to die / I've got a feeling, and it's hard to hide / I wear my inside on the outside.” The open honesty in such blatant pop is refreshing, and the optimistic melody keeps you hopeful.
The album ends with “Feathers,” a swaying sunset after a rollicking and well-spent day. The colorful, uplifting vocals cascade over themselves, and carry Gemini out on a perfectly rosy note of happiness. The twenty-minute album may leave you wanting more, as do most pleasant vacations, but you can always just start again from track one.
"Double Trouble" - Jack and White