by Alex Monzel
Those Pretty Wrongs just released their self-titled debut record. Don’t let the term ‘debut’ confuse you, however, as this is not the first thing either member of this duo has done. Jody Stephens, formerly of Big Star, and Luther Russell, formerly of The Freewheelers, comprise this quite talented group of veteran musicians.
The lyrics from Those Pretty Wrongs (a name taken from the first line of a Shakespearean sonnet) do not disappoint their namesake. Co-written by both members, Jody Stephens refers to them as, “a walk through day-to-day emotions and experiences.” Neither too basic nor extravagant, the message conveyed through Stephen’s voice can strike a chord with anyone. This, paired with Russell’s accompaniment, make songs like “Lucky Guy” conjure vivid emotions.
To generalize, I’d label their genre as chill alternative. When most alternative bands rely on electronic instruments and studio effects (which is not necessarily a bad thing), Those Pretty Wrongs take a more regressive approach. Classic rock influences, modern sounds, and a wealth of experience to draw on craft a beautifully simplistic record with minimal instrumentation and production value.
The album’s singles, such as “Never Goodbye,” “Ordinary,” and the aforementioned “Lucky Guy,” are fantastic tracks, while the ones in between often fail to fully grasp your attention. Track seven, entitled “The Cube,” was by far one of the best tracks on the record with a fun piano, chord progression, and subject matter to contrast some of the more somber tones of the rest of the record.
Overall, Those Pretty Wrongs is a personal, enjoyable record. I wouldn’t label it as a background noise type of record, rather it’s one that’s best consumed with some time and space dedicated specifically to it. If you’re looking for something upbeat and modern, then this may not be the best choice.
Though this isn’t the first thing either half of this band has produced, it is just the beginning for Those Pretty Wrongs. And thank you for that, because I’m personally incredibly interested to see whatever they put out next.