Recording as the Junior League, Eventually Is Now is the latest release from Joe Adragna. Eventually Is Now is sometimes lush and experimental, but in all the right ways. Where some artists get lost in an experimental jungle, Adragna has a knack for cutting through the overgrowth and delivering solid, well-crafted pop songs. While Adragna plays most of the instruments on the record (bass, drums, percussion, guitar, vocals, keyboards and EBow guitar), he is joined by Scott McCaughey (piano, Mellotron, tubular bells, guitar and keyboards), Deni Bonet (strings), Michael Giblin (12-string guitar and keyboard) and J.J. Murphy (acoustic and electric guitar).
“Teenage Bigstar” is an excellent choice to kick things off. From the opening jangly guitars to the engaging story line of an encounter in a record store, “Teenage Bigstar” instantly draws the listener back in time and reminds us of the importance of both music and brick and mortar record stores. This is simply pure pop paradise and conjures up memories of the Continental Drifters.
While “Say Please And Thank You” is certainly more acerbic than the lighthearted “Teenage Bigstar,” it, like so many of Adragna’s songs, somehow manages to get stuck in your head. Up next is “The Wrong Kind Of Blue” which benefits from a nice string arrangement. “You Didn’t Miss A Thing,” which features McCaughey on vocals, illustrates Adragna’s ability to start with a simple, sparsely crafted song and subsequently add enough psychedelic texture (especially Adragna’s EBow guitar) to make it sound like something that would be at home on Sgt. Pepper’s. “I Only Want To Begin Again” and “Someday” are the perfect accompaniment to a convertible ride along Lake Pontchartrain as the April sun sets across the glistening water. They make you feel good and hopeful, like things are right in the world.
All in all, Eventually Is Now is another fine recording from The Junior League, and fans of well-crafted pop songs will find a lot to like with this record.