Indie-pop tends to be static and homogenous, but Jean On Jean utilizes the genre’s core traits in such unique ways that it becomes quite fresh. Lead by Molly Schnick (Out Hud), Jean On Jean is an excellent recipe of indie-pop sub-genres, from minimal to experimental, and bedroom to orchestral.
Molly’s vocals at first may sound slightly European, but while they soon shed some of those elements, the music continues to have a more European pop sound. As the album continues, one can hear a trace of her Brooklyn hometown. The lyrics themselves are emotive — not necessarily emotional, but hint at various emotions.
As a whole, each song in Jean On Jean is very well-crafted — from a production standpoint, it is near perfection; when the strings vibrate in “Change” amidst Molly’s simple vocals compiling atop each other toward the end, the effect is mesmerizing with a tearful, near exotic beauty.
There are very few flaws overall. “Cold Horse” and “Summer” are minimal in a slightly forgettable way — they simply do not hold the power of some of the more experimental tracks on the album. Similarly closer, “Finally” takes a while to catch on, but the string breakdown is easily the song’s turning point.
Despite the aforementioned flaws, there are more than enough noteworthy items to make Jean On Jean well worth the money; there’s the instrumental breakdown in “Circle”, the pop-awkwardness in “Grown”, and catchy yet occasionally eerie opener “Tonight”. And the minimal, string opening to “Hawaii”.
Either way, Jean On Jean is an outstanding pop album filled with fresh sounds based on tradition and bordering on groundbreaking.
4. Cold Horse
7. You And I