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  • (3.5 stars) The Jelly Jam 2 was, needless to say, *much* anticipated here after the unsurprisingly tasty blend of the first. And while the sophomore release mostly satisfies, it seems more like the taste of leftovers to me. The opening duo of “Not Today” and the effervescent “Coming Round” just don’t really satisfy, and it takes the massive riffage of “Empty” to get things back on track. “Drop The Gun” sounds like another recycled chunk of the “Kings Dance” jam from the first album, with Ty’s weakest vox on either of the two albums – but it’s just a prelude to the album’s unquestionable winner “Allison”, which blew my mind with its totally organic maelstrom outro and off-kilter harmonies. “She Was Alone” is also great, with some excellent layered vocal work (including the use of what sounds like a vocoder) and a poppy mantra (“No, don’t need it, well, might need it”) countering a heavy stacatto riff with Rod Morgenstein’s turn-on-a-dime drumming. Ty’s lyrics seem more scattershot and random (“Not Today”) and the tired “Maybe” just doesn’t add anything to the pantheon of failed relationship songs. Continuing along that vein, “War Is…” is certainly a thunderous concluding shot from these guys – but maybe there’s something a little more profound to say about it than “War Is Hell”? And that’s really my biggest nit, there just seems to be less substance on this album than the first. Overall the production seems a little less vanilla on this album, more lively – and already-fans will need to own this for “Allison” alone, but newbies should get acquainted with the stronger first album before this one.

    Posted on December 3, 2009