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MUSIC

You Should Be Happy

by The Junior League

Released 2013
Greenleaves Sound Recordings
Released 2013
Greenleaves Sound Recordings
Not Lame Records says, "For fans of Sloan, The Gripweeds, classic Lemonheads power pop, Big Star and bands that have been influenced by Buffalo Springfield but are making modern-day pop, The Junior League are IT. "
NOTES
Here is what various reviewers have said about THE JUNIOR LEAGUE:

The Junior League-You Should Be Happy. Joe Adragna has had a bit of a musical identity crisis. After releasing two top-notch discs as The Junior League in the latter half of the last decade, Adragna re-released the Junior League material under his own name and then gave us 2010's fine Fall Back. He's even called himself Parlophony from time to time. But now he's dusted off The Junior League name for his latest collection of tunes, and the famous Shakespeare quote about roses and names comes to mind as You Should Be Happy continues Adragna's string of excellent releases. As on Fall Back he's assisted by Scott McCaughey, which dovetails perfectly with his Marshall Crenshaw-meets-R.E.M. sound and opener "Keep it Home" with its roots-pop sound and prominent harmonica is its exemplar. The jaunty piano-backed "Hey Misery" is both Brian Wilson-esque and Beatlesque, and the lovely, lightly-jangly "One Step Forward (Another Step Back)" finds Adragna just as home with more introspective numbers. And the legendary Susan Cowsill adds vocals on the raved-up title track and the gorgeous ballad "I Don't Think I'm Kidding (This Time)". So many of the artists I feature on this site are deserving of a much wider audience, but Adragna's songcraft and musicianship really ought to have him prominent in the adult-alternative/Austin City Limits circle of music today. I'll take him over Mumford or any of Mumford's sons.
---Absolute Power Pop

There’s no such thing as eating too much candy, figuratively speaking, for the north shore-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joe Adragna. Adragna, who drums in a Monkees cover band when not working on his own projects, is a dedicated pop acolyte whose work brims over with passion for the genre’s great artisans: the Beach Boys, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel.

Adragna followed his last album as the Junior League, 2009’s “Smile Shoot Smile”, with “Fall Back” in late 2010, under his own name; the latter was a sharper, more muscled power-pop effort than the jangly confections of his Junior League output, with plenty of the garage clinging to it.

The bittersweet new “You Should Be Happy”, streaming online now, splits the difference between the two, its lush hooks shot through with sweet-tart lyrical yearning. One track, “Samantha Smile”, full of aching teenage joy and want (and more Big Star than Beatles) is even a tribute to the teen love triangle of John Hughes’ “Sixteen Candles”.

On “You Should Be Happy” Adragna gets by with a little help from his friends: alt-pop star Scott McCaughey of the Young Fresh Fellows and occasionally R.E.M. - with whom Adragna has played, recently, in the group the Minus 5 - and Morrissey guitarist Boz Boorer lent their talents to the project. Out of the local ranks, Susan Cowsill (who, along with McCaughey and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck also guested on “Fall Back”) keyboardist Casey McAllister and sax man Derek Houston all appear.

“You Should Be Happy” comes out officially in July; bouncing between sad, sweet and sunny, it’s a fine collection to kick off your summer
--Alison Fensterstock, nola.com, Times-Picayune

Mr. Adragna finds a newish path through the well-trod fields of pop/rock. He claims influence from REM and the Monkees, and I believe it
-Ink 19
….For power pop fiends—and hopeless romantics who deal with rejection by rocking out---it will serve well. Adragna’s pop rock classicism, which makes the album everything it’s title promises to be (especially on “This Is What We Are”) skitters eloquently between jangle, garage revivalism and folky alt-pop.
--offBeat
When you title an album “Catchy”, you’re either being ironic or confident. In the case of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Joe Adragna, it’s clearly the latter. Adragna has crafted a fine disc of breakup and post-breakup songs in a power pop setting that calls to mind many of the touchstones of the genre.
--Absolute Power Pop



[Adragna] plays tight, well-crafted sunny pop in the vein of the Beatles and the Monkees as well as their slightly more bitter, tongue-in-cheek inheritors like 90’s Britpop invaders Oasis and Blur. There’s also quite a bit of influence audible from angelic alt-country brooders like Rhett Miller of the Old 97s. You’ll hear plenty of sharp turns of phrase cradling sentiments that are at the same time bitter, wistful and romantic. But for the most part, it’s just darn foot-tapping catchy.
--Gambit Weekly
“Catchy” could not be a more appropriate name….[Adragna is] for Major League power pop. Fans of Sloan, the Gripweeds, classic Lemonheads power pop, Big Star, and bands that have been influenced by Buffalo Springfield but are making modern-day pop, [Adragna] is IT.
www.notlame.com

UPCOMING APPEARANCES

  • April 18, 2018
    the circle bar ,  new orleans, la
     

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