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Fall Back

by Joe Adragna

Released 2010
Greenleaves Sound Recordings
Released 2010
Greenleaves Sound Recordings
Folk pop is back!
Fall Back is #18 on's Top 100 albums of the year!
See reviews below:

from The Big Takeover:

joe adragna

fall back

(Greenleaves Sound)

The Not Lame folks, who know their power-pop, impressively compared New Orleans’s Adragna’s 2006 first album Catchy (under his older name, The Junior League) to Sloan, Gripweeds, Lemonheads, Big Star, Buffalo Springfield, and Marshall Crenshaw. Perhaps he’s recording under his own name now to signal his maturity in taking those influences (and 1969 Beatles and 1971 Kinks) and applying them to this well-recorded singer-songwriter LP. With help from Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck of the R.E.M., Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows nexus, as well as Susan Cowsill and others (even ex-Squirrel Bait punk singer Peter Searcy, oddly on cello!), the talented multi-instrumentalist plies the post-Byrds jangle-pop feel of Buck’s R.E.M. circa “Maps and Legends” on songs like “You’re Gonna Die Alone,” while pushing minor country buttons elsewhere (like the pedal-steel-crying “Far Away”), and “falling back” on his deep production, careful arrangements, and “catchy” vocals. Like Joe Pernice, who works along similar lines, this man has a profound respect for a lovingly well-crafted tune, and it shows over and over. (

If the name Joe Adragna doesn't leap right out at you, it's because he's been recording for the past few years as The Junior League, with two fine discs under his belt. Now he's decided to claim his own name, and earlier this year he released a best-of the two Junior League discs titled Parlophony. For his first Joe Adragna album proper he's taken a slightly more introspective approach from the Marshall Crenshaw-styled power pop of the League, enlisting the help of Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey, who need no introduction.

The Buck/McCaughey influence is most notably heard on the janglicious "You're Gonna Die Alone", the disc's best track. Combining Rickenbackers and the vitriol of an Elvis Costello with a catchy melody (and featuring harmony vocals from Susan Cowsill), it's almost worth the price of admission alone. Along those lines, "Leave Me Resigned" also has that early-REM/Young Fresh Fellows feel, and the shuffling "Ladders" recalls Bobby Sutliff. It's not all fun and jangle, though. The moody opener "In a Place (Looking Around)" recalls Salim Nourallah with a slight touch of electronica, the laid-back, beautiful "Like Nothing Else" feels like comfortable clothes put on after a hard workday, and "Far Away" is an outright country weeper, complete with pedal steel.

Adragna comes in for the finish with "Swezey's", a return of the jangle, the feedback-drenched "Depot Park", and the bright and breezy "Help, It's Strange", which is right in his sweet spot. The title track closes things out on a perfect note, a combination of regret, hope and those jangly guitars as it fades to a "bah-dop-bah" refrain. Adragna has really taken a leap forward here, and I can see why he chose to release this under his own name.


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