Album Review: NO DREAM by Jeff Rosenstock

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Jeff Rosenstock is an American singer and songwriter from New York (now in Los Angeles). He was originally in Bomb the Music Industry! but he started his solo career once they broke up. I was a huge fan of his POST- album so I had high expectations for his most recent album. NO DREAM marks his fourth studio album.

The first track is a short, under one-minute track titled NO TIME. Just like any other punk rock band, it opens up with fast-paced guitar riffs, drum hits, and the somewhat edgy lyrics. Other than that, it’s a pretty high-intensity opener that basically talks about people not having the time to do the things or become the person they wanted to.

The last track smoothly runs into Nikes (Alt) which starts out with that high pitched guitar from the end of the last track. This is another short track, just under two minutes in length which seems to be a reoccurring theme in the first few tracks of the album. There are two messages on this track. The first verse talks a lot about the future looking bleak and hopeless. The second verse talks about how designer clothing doesn’t make you a better person, which is mentioned in the title of the track, Nikes. The track ends with a decent guitar solo.

Scram! slows down the album a bit at the beginning of the track. There are some elements of ska-punk in the first minute of the track, but then it opens up into the loud chorus of guitars. I definitely love the chorus of voices throughout the high-energy parts of the track. The track talks about dealing with people of different political viewpoints than him. He says that they should always look at the other side when they refuse to look at the opposing viewpoint.

After that, we have the title track, N O D R E A M. The concept of this track focuses on where the United States is currently and how he’s not dreaming about all of these things going on. Most of the track talks about his issues with the Trump administration and his views on capitalism. The track currently increases in tempo and intensity, then just let’s loose as he repeats, “It’s not a dream.”

State Line turns down the tempo again. Jeff talks about how he made this track in a small apartment bathroom in Europe. The track could have several different meanings, but from what I gathered, it’s about traveling around the world while on tour.

f a m e talks about the issues of fame and celebrities. He talks about some of the issues celebrities face when they become famous and that they might ‘conform’ to society. Jeff says that fame will never control him and that he won’t conform to society. This is another high energy song that drones on with the repetitive lyrics to end the track.

Next, we have Leave It In The Sun. This is one of the few tracks on the album that I am not huge on. By this point, it seems like another track that just hides on the album since it sounds similar to some of the previous track.

The last track smoothly transitions into The Beauty Of Breathing. The track starts off with the back and forth notes on a guitar that comes in every now and then during the verses. Jeff talks about his anxiety on this track and how people seem to suggest the same thing on how to be less anxious. He says that people don’t seem to understand his anxiety and that their ways won’t help him.

Old Crap starts as an acoustic track and doesn’t seem to have any chorus or form to it. Once the other instruments come in, we have some hints of ska-punk in there. Jeff talks about doing things that he wants to do, no matter how bad it might be for him.

***BNB is supposed to reference Airbnb. He mentions that this person’s mom has been renting out their place when he was gone. One interpretation of this track is how he feels when renting an Airbnb and that he’s a different person when he rents it. When he leaves, he goes back to his old life that he isn’t too fond of.

Monday At The Beach is another quick, under one-minute track. I don’t know why, but I’m really getting some Wavves vibes from this track. Despite everything going on, he’s going to the beach and doesn’t know how long he is going to stay there.

Honeymoon Ashtray is another slowed down track, and has more of an indie rock sound to it. It seems like the days are all meshing together for Jeff based on some of the lyrics. There could also be a reference to global warming when he mentions that we will toss and turn when it gets hotter. Other than that, it could also have to do with a smoking habit he’s trying to break.

The last and longest track on the album is Ohio Tpke. He talks about how he wants this person to like him although the feeling isn’t mutual. He ends the track by saying he hates leaving home, but hates coming home to what’s there as well. The last minute of the track ends with a few piano chords being played.

Overall Rating: 8/10
Favorite Tracks: NO TIME, Nikes (Alt), Scram!, f a m e, Honeymoon Ashtray

Originally published at

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