Jeremy Fisher - The Lemon Squeeze
Released May 13, 2014
By Charlie Dims
Just like the title implies, Jeremy Fisher's latest LP The Lemon Squeeze starts off with a strong kick. The opening number I Love You...So is a strong contender for a summer pop tune. The song has a certain quality to it, an energy that is barely able to be contained. Fisher sings, "Wish I could bottle up that feeling", but, in fact, does the exact opposite of that, letting all the giddy feelings sonically explode with high-pitched piano parts, a thumping drum beat, electric guitars, and background vocals.
For fans of Fisher, this album might come as somewhat of a surprise. It's not that this musician has been afraid of adding rhythm or pop-influenced undertones throughout his work. Even a song like 2007's Scar That Never Heals, which includes lyrics like "Why do you want to save me?/Lord, my soul is taken", has a light melody that would fit in nicely with The Beach Boys. The difference was that, in previous records, the acoustic guitar has been a staple for Fisher's music, a feature which gave his sound a certain pop-folk feel. With The Lemon Squeeze, however, the intention was to create a pop record with acoustics, but after fiddling with the guitar Fisher found that "the songs just weren't coming," (Credit: http://www.jeremyfishermusic.com/). It wasn't until he listened to Randy Newman's Sail Away album that The Lemon Squeeze started to come together (Credit: http://www.pledgemusic.com/artists/jeremyfisher).
I Love You...So, as stated above, starts off the album on the right note. The next one, Happy Day, is a nice, fun song about wishing someone a "happy motherfucking [birth]day." With lyrics like, "You've been through some shit/You look like it, too", the tone veers between the lines of being playful and biting. The third track, Uh-Oh, is perhaps the standout track of the album. With just the slightest hint of hip-hop influence, Fisher manages to craft an entertaining song about how "you can't prove it" that he "didn't smoke it." While the "it" in question is never specified, the lack of details lends a nice mystery to the piece. Serena Ryder's vocal contributions only help to strengthen the piece.
The album then shifts tone when we get to You Again, At first, the large drop in tone is welcomed. There's a certain exhaustive quality that works nicely with the I-hate-that-I-love-you-tone. From here on out, though, the energy of the album changes to a slower pace. Each track is catchy, but in a different way than the first half of the album. The mood shifts to a more subdued, mellow tone. In some ways, it could almost be said that The Lemon Squeeze is the perfect way to describe this album. Just like a squirt of lemon to the tongue, it's an experience that starts off strong and exciting, and ends with a slightly bitter aftertaste that leaves you both wanting to hold off, yet intrigued to try it again. Ultimately, The Lemon Squeeze is made up of indescribably catchy pop-tracks that will open Fisher up to a new demographic of listeners.