Postmodern Jukebox, abbreviated as PMJ, is a musical project aimed toward recreating popular songs in a vintage fashion. PMJ was founded by the pianist and arranger, Scott Bradlee, in 2011. His mission in mind was to present songs in an unpredictable variety--strictly a blast from the past, so to speak. PMJ tends to present songs through vintage interpretations of jazz, ragtime, and swing music.
The top four best songs the project covered, in my opinion, are Complicated by Avril Lavigne, Somebody I Used to Know by Goyte, Stacy's Mom by Fountains of Wayne, and All the Small Things by Blink-182.
PMJ featured the lovely Annie Bosko. The band didn't alter the song too much, but they definitely refined it to a jazzy interpretation. They also added emphasis in the pre-chorus and chorus section, which worked well for the singer, Annie, and the style of music. Annie's version--talent-wise--is very much so an improvement from the original song.
Annie's soprano vocals were crisp, strong, and sometimes airy. She truly gave the song justice!
2. SOMEBODY I USED TO KNOW
The band covered this song twice throughout its six year lifetime. The second cover, featuring Hannah Gill, is a true gem. Her alto range brought a depth to the big band version of Somebody I Used to Know. Also, you can clearly hear every instrument, finger snapping, and tonal variety.
Since the original showed a two-sided story sung by two singers (Gotye and Kimbra), you must know that PMJ reduced the story to one person's perspective. That might take away from the song (it does), but it also adds the PMJ originality in their covers. Overall, this cover is very strong and really fantastic to listen to.
3. STACY'S MOM
Maybe you remember Casey Abrams from American Idol. Well, he collaborated with PMJ for the cover of Stacy's Mom. The original song was already pretty fun and upbeat, and luckily that did not change for PMJ's cover. Although Casey Abram's energy in performance and voice definitely added a new layer of fun! At some point in the song he gives directions for the clarinet through varied vocals.
The cover is endearing, and has a nice big band feel to it.
4. ALL THE SMALL THINGS
Do you already miss Puddles Pity Party from America's Got Talent? Well, he's been working with PMJ since 2013. Puddles sang his heart out with every collaboration with PMJ. From Royals by Lorde to All the Small Things by Blink-182, Puddles and PMJ created covers of these songs filled with lush sadness, haunting despair, and unique musical arrangements. Although I enjoy all covers created by Puddles and PMJ, All the Small Things is my absolute favorite because not only does it deliver on the musical project's mission, but it is so well-tailored for Puddles.
Postmodern Jukebox slowed down All the Small Things, creating a somber tune. We hear Puddles singing in a velvety low octave. When he sung higher notes, it sounded truly haunting. The female back up singers sang a different verse while Puddles sang throughout at times, which was pretty cool. And the way the song ends is amazing--with nobody but Puddles left in the shot, trying to regain his breath. This cover added much depth to the seemingly shallow song.
So why should you listen to Postmodern Jukebox? Well, if you love the sound of older music, simply love listening to covers, or a true music lover you are missing out if you haven't listened to PMJ yet! Definitely buy their songs on iTunes or at least support them by listening to them on YouTube and forwarding it to your friends.