Album review: Gone Now by Bleachers

Sydney Chatani, Program Director


When I discovered this album in early 2019, I was in a strange transitional period. I had made the decision to graduate high school a semester early and felt aimless — all of my friends were either still in school (celebrating their seniority) or had already moved away for college, while I worked nearly every day. It was during that time I found “Gone Now” and fell in love with the album. Track after track, Jack Antonoff sang lyrics describing the exact transitional period I was going through at the time — it was comforting. Now, it’s hard to listen without remembering that time, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I see the album as an ode to change and resilience, which is precisely why it’s one of my favorite albums.


  • Dream of Mickey Mantle: The first track of the album name drops Mickey Mantle, a major league baseball player considered to be one of the greatest players of his time. In 1995, he passed away in New Jersey, where singer Jack Antonoff is also from. In this track, Antonoff examines the impact his death had on his community. Lyrics, such as “Now Mickey Mantle left on a Sunday, and all of the neighborhood rushes home to pray” introduce the concepts of shared grief and the importance of having a community to look toward for support. The instrumentals create a sense of grandiose — soaring vocals, increasingly urgent beats from a drum machine, and synths that are added onto one another.
  • Goodmorning: The second track of the album is about the exact moment you wake up in the morning — “one foot out and I know the weight is coming, because I left it by the bed last night”. In Antonoff’s case, the weight he references is the day-to-day trials and tribulations that life has to offer. Again, he stresses the importance of having a community. The lyrics describe him saying good morning to the people he passes every day: cops, his neighbor, and “anyone who lent me a favor.” In contrast, the instrumentals are relatively simple. Besides a consistent piano track and implementation of synths and horns, all focus is on Antonoff’s voice. 
  • Hate That You Know Me: Though it features backing vocals from Carly Rae Jepsen, this track feels a little bland. It’s extremely catchy, but the chorus: “sometimes I hate that you know me so well, some days I wish that I wasn’t myself,” repeats one time too many. The concept of hating being in a relationship because it forces you to see yourself for who you really are is interesting, but seems more fitting for a slower song. The instrumentals are typical of Jack Antonoff’s work: random sounds, horns, drum beats, and synths.
  • Don’t Take The Money: If there’s one thing Jack Antonoff knows how to do seamlessly, it’s to write a brilliant pop song. In this track, he describes how hard being in a relationship can be at times. Particularly, he focuses on the fact that he can fight with his significant other and play the blame game, but at the end of the day, he’d rather do that with the person he’s in love with rather than be alone. He uses money as a metaphor for this idea: in the beginning of the song, he sings “somebody broke me once, love was a currency.” The song feels like a defiant proclamation. By using crescendo, layered vocals, a declarative style of singing, and vibrant synths, Antonoff’s passion makes listeners want to believe in what he says. 
  • Everybody Lost Somebody: Perhaps the best song on “Gone Now,” Antonoff was inspired to write this track based on his memories of 9/11 and the death of his sister. It’s a beautifully written song, lyrics like “I think pain is waiting alone at the corner, trying to get myself back home, looking like everybody, knowing everybody lost somebody” are painfully resonant. It feels especially relevant given the current pandemic we’re seeing ourselves in — nearly everyone has lost somebody. The music itself offers a sense of wistfulness and longing, with muted verses and a booming chorus, complete with saxophones and classic Antonoff synths.
  • All My Heroes: This track is my personal favorite off “Gone Now”. Antonoff discusses the frustration that comes along with being disappointed by the world and (on a lesser scale), his loved ones. He explores the idea of becoming disillusioned, yet he uses this as fuel to do better. This idea is expressed in the chorus, where Antonoff sings “all the nights I don’t remember are the ones I can’t forget, when all your heroes get tired, I’ll be something better yet.” In contrast to the other tracks on the album, the chorus is muted, with low, pulsating synths and hushed vocals. 
  • Let’s Get Married: Though it’s easy to write off  “Let’s Get Married” as a cheesy love song, the inspirations of the track run far deeper. On Twitter, Antonoff explained that he wrote this song the day after Donald Trump was elected: “when the election happened […] it made me want to grab everything and say ‘let’s get married, let’s stay here’.” While it is an ode to a significant other, Antonoff also uses the concept of marriage as a means of escapism. It’s one of the peppier sounding songs on “Gone Now” as well, with energetic drum beats and clean synths.
  • Goodbye: “Goodbye” can be considered to be part two of “Goodmorning.” Antonoff bids goodbye to his friends, the upstairs neighbor, the kids downstairs, and anyone who has lent him a favor — nearly an exact repetition of “Goodmorning.” It’s a simple song in structure, driven primarily by a piano track, clapping sounds, and distorted synths. 
  • I Miss Those Days: Track nine is an upbeat, nostalgia-heavy song that sees Antonoff reminiscing about his teenage years and early adulthood. Although he felt lost during that time, he can’t help but look back with fondness, in his eyes, the experiences he had while growing up inevitably shaped him into who he is today. 
  • Nothing Is U: This is the closest thing to a ballad on “Gone Now.” Antonoff expresses his love for his significant other and emphasizes how she has changed his life for the better. He’s incredulous at times as well: he sees himself as a wreck in comparison to his girlfriend, who seemingly is always put together. The instrumentals are subtle, but nonetheless, it’s a touching ode.
  • I’m Ready To Move On/Mickey Mantle Reprise: This track is divided into two parts: the first is driven by saxophones and Antonoff’s falsetto, describing the love he has for his sister. He states “I got one light and dim for another, why wait a minute to tell her I love her,” expressing his belief in the importance of always telling someone you love them before it’s too late. The second half is a reprise of track two, with slowed synths and spoken-word commentary from Antonoff.
  • Foreign Girls: The last track of the album acts as a summation of all the ideas Antonoff has expressed throughout “Gone Now”: loneliness, acknowledging what you’ve lost, and watching yourself change as a person. It’s a subdued track: he implements falsetto, saxophones, piano tracks, and calming synths, all while analyzing the way his life has changed.



“Gone Now” is an important album. While I don’t believe it’s important in the sense that it’ll leave a huge legacy in the music industry as a whole, Antonoff does discuss subject matter that will continue to be relevant. His skill as not only a producer, but a songwriter is undeniable: tracks like “Everybody Lost Somebody” and “Don’t Take The Money” show Antonoff’s ability to convey passion and heartache without coming across as pretentious. I’d recommend this album to anyone who is a fan of ‘80s inspired music or indie. 4/5 Spinnaker Sails.

Standout Tracks: “Dream Of Mickey Mantle,” “Don’t Take The Money,” “Everybody Lost Somebody,” and “All My Heroes.”


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