I have a million things to do today like usual I have the day off from my day job so I really have no excuse to not get my ever-growing to-do list done but I’m just not in the mood for it. What I am in the mood for is new music and thankfully my list of albums to review outnumbers my to-do list. So let’s get this new music Friday kicked off in the right way. I know that ‘Take It Or Leave It’ by Average Joe has been out for a couple of weeks but it’s new to me so it still counts, right?

This quick EP kicks off with “King For A Day” and instantly puts me in the best mood ever. This opening track has a ska vibe with an almost reggae edge to it. From the horns to the carefree vocal styling, I had a smile stretching from ear to ear within seconds of this track taking over my house. Although this is the shortest track on this EP, the storytelling in the lyrics makes it feel a bit more like a saga in the best way. Although the horns are what really caught my ear, the words are so simply perfect. It’s a track about, well, pretending you are “King For a Day” and honestly, with my day off from my day job, I feel like I am living this track.

“Taxi” replaces the ska vibe with something a bit more somber and almost a bit more hip-hop without taking this EP to a dark place or creating confusion for me as far as trying to figure out what Average Joe is about. This is another chill track that left me moving around in my desk chair like a fool. It was impossible to listen to this track while just sitting still. It’s just too infectious. Like the opening track, this is another wordy song that can typically be exhausting when you are trying to listen to a track but it’s done so perfectly. Instead of coming off as wordy, it comes off as storytelling, and, as a lyric lady, it was pure bliss to follow along with the very relatable lyrics.

I fell in love with “Promo” instantly due to the lyrics and the fun drum beat that kicks this one off. It’s a playful track both with the instrumentation and the words but it’s also a very triumphant and anthemic track as a full package. “I’m a singer in a rock n roll band/ I’m breaking hearts all across the land/ I read the plan on the back of god’s hand/ I don’t think you understand/ I’m just getting warmed up.” With a chorus like that and the acknowledgment that Average Joe is “just getting warmed up”, I couldn’t help but smile and laugh a little. If this is just warming up, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this unique musician.

Things really slow down for “The Truth” as the album takes a more sensitive approach to this track. From the words to the slow and steady beat, things just feel a bit more serious on this track which is nice. I love the carefree vibe that Average Joe does so well on the first few tracks but it’s nice to hear that there is a whole other side to this act that, although completely different, is done just as well. Another sound comes through on the final track “A Weekend In Wales” This song has a more classic sound and feel to it that, again, is done perfectly. Although I really wished that this release had ended with a more ska feeling like the first track had, I loved the jazzy little vibe that “A Weekend in Wales” ends this with. It left me wanting so much more from Average Joe because it’s clear that they have so much more to give.

My Favorite Track(s): “Promo”

For Fans Of: Smiling; Chill Vibes; Feeling Good

Dance-ability: 6 out of 10

What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid on the back of the couch; Autumn laid in the middle of my living room trying to catch all of the sun she could

How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 6 out of 10

My Overall Rating: 6.8 out of 10

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