Last year saw its fair share of musical comebacks, and this year is quickly following suit. Old bands are reuniting, and bands that have been musically dormant for years are returning with new albums. After four years since the release of his debut album, Jordan Witzigreuter, frontman and sole member of The Ready Set, lands in the latter category with his newest album, The Bad & The Better, and it seems that time has been good to The Ready Set. Witzigreuter is making up for lost time on the new album released under his new label, Razor & Tie.
The clapping beat and Witzigreuter’s classic high pitched voice on the album opener, “Higher,” immediately grabs the attention of the listener. The track is high energy and filled with Witzigreuter’s trademark spitfire lyrical performance. The single is currently being pushed for radio play, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it became another huge success like I’m Alive I’m Dreaming’s “Love Like Woe.”
The second track, “Freakin Me Out,” follows suit as an upbeat crowd pleaser. Although the song disguises it’s energy in the verses, the chorus comes alive with drums and booming bass beats.
The seemingly misplaced song “Fangz” stands out on the record as one of the most experimental songs Witzigreuter has recorded under The Ready Set. It’s a far cry from previous TRS releases, but it finds a happy home as the fourth track on the album. Just as listeners are settling into the sound of the album, “Fangz” jumps in to remind listeners of the creative artistry Witzigreuter is capable of producing.
“Carry Me Home” is easily the catchiest song on the album with piano driven verses and a chorus that will be stuck in your head for days. It’s one that The Ready Set has been known to put on the setlist during recent tours and gets the crowd moving. I’d go as far to name it as the catchiest TRS song to date.
“Castaway,” a collaboration with Jake Miller, brings a different edge to the album. It’s an inspirational song that brings the album full circle with some of the same themes introduced in the album’s opener, “Higher.” The chorus has Witzigreuter singing, “Do you feel you’re not enough and impossible to love?” While the track could be pinned as a love song, I see it as more of a song dedicated to the fans. It’s a song that allows listeners to hear a message of hope from Witzigreuter and realize that dreams are meant to be chased and not kept under wraps, something Witzigreuter has dealt with over the past few years while battling with major label politics to gain control over his music again.
The album comes just in time for Warped Tour, where The Ready Set will be found performing all summer. The Bad & The Better is more than just a new album. It’s a collection of songs positively illustrating the frustrations and thought process of a person overcoming fears and anxieties. It’s a dedication to those who stuck with The Ready Set while Witzigreuter waited to see where things stood with his label. It’s the realization that life goes on and things get better. It’s a declaration of hope, but most importantly it’s the beginning of a restoration period in Witzigreuter’s career.