The merry men (and woman) are back! Jared Mees & The Grown Children somehow found time between touring the nation at an astonishing pace to record their fantastic new album, Only Good Thoughts Can Stay. It’s been almost three years since Jared and the gang shook the world with their acclaimed release Caffeine, Alcohol, Sunshine, Money and they seem to have calmed a bit since. Their personalized brand of frenzied folk music has been shifted down a few RPM’s to create a less hectic sound. But, somehow, nothing is lost; a feat that should come as no surprise to the loyal fans who would follow Jared to Jonestown should he ask!
While Jared Mees has seemed to slow his music a bit, his tracks still dissipate a tremendous amount of haste toward perfect chord progressions and well-conceived lyrics littered with dark subject matter. Only Good Thoughts Can Stay features an even more superior collection of new age folk storytelling than previous efforts. Though the first person manifestation is utterly important, fans of The Grown Children should be more than excited to know that Jared goes as far as to embody others in his already mastered brand of storytelling. This wonderful demonstration of raw talent is best heard on the thumping track “WWJBD”, which employs the tales and spirit of his wife, and co-founder of his label and record store Tender Loving Empire based in Portland, OR. “All Together Now” brings back a bit of nostalgic presence, but is still entirely fresh and riveting.
Anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing The Grown Children perform, whether to a crowd of 30 burrito restaurant attendees or thousands of adoring fans, should already know the strange and funk-driven dynamic that makes Jared Mees & The Grown Children one of the finest touring acts consistently crossing the earth today. But, hearing them on wax can be especially pleasing as well. The tales that Jared and crew have to tell, especially on Only Good Thoughts Can Stay, are comfortably heartbreaking and painfully exciting. And they have definitely produced one of the finest records of the year with this release.
Listen: “W.W.J.D.B.” by Jared Mees & The Grown Children
Listen: “Billy Bird” by Jared Mees & The Grown Children
Tender Loving Empire Records [CD, 2011]
1. Hungry Like A Tiger
2. Limber Hearts
4. Billy Bird
5. Inaudible Song II
6. Tiny Toy Piano
7. Inaudible Song I
8. Even Little Mountains
9. Juicy Fruit Prelude
10. Juicy Fruit