Album Review: Tonight, Let's Pretend - The Great Unknown

Tonight, Let’s Pretend is a work of meticulous beauty. The Great Unknown, four local Philly gentlemen, have always been good at making folk rock something stimulating and fresh, which, considering how tired the outfit is, is no small feat. This full length album of songs is no exception, and demonstrates a fine level of craftsmanship. The orchestration of the multitude of string instruments is fantastic, smoothly forming that feeling of rolling the windows down on a long ride through the country. Banjoes, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, and lap steel interplay for a dreamy southern twang - swelling and slowing with emotion. Military beats can sometimes be heard, and in other instances, a clear and driving force of drums as well as other percussions that give the music the perfect accent. A sense of loss can be found amidst the tunes in lyrics written by the whole band. “I’m Not Listening,” for instance, which happens to be my personal favorite song on the album, contains a message of loneliness after separation: “Earthquakes and hurricanes, the ruins spell your name, I’m not looking.” Heartbreaking lyrics such as these add a whole other element to Tonight, Let’s Pretend. The endearingly sincere vocals heard throughout this album make it so much more relatable, making you feel every word intoned. It’s an honest album, with no glitz or glam, but by relying on pure, raw talent, The Great Unknown have written one of my favorite albums of the year. myspace.com/thegreatunknownband - James Sanderson