“Asking For a Friend” is a newly released album from the band Umphrey’s McGee. This fourteen song album consists of soft/ jam rock, and was released on July 1st, 2022. My initial reaction to this album was a very positive experience, and I enjoyed how each song flows so well into the next. One thing about this album is how easy it is to listen to, it is truly something you can throw on in a variety of scenarios, whether that is a chill drive to the beach, or rocking out to yourself in your room.
This band was formed in 1997 by a group of students attending the University of Notre Dame, and they released their first album “Local Band Does OK” in 2002, which began their over twenty year run of making music. While constantly touring, playing shows and festivals, adding new band members, and growing their following, they really began to receive recognition in 2006 when they played live on Jimmy Kimmel. They have continued creating music with a variety of rock and funk tempos and melodies, which brings them to their fourteenth studio album of “Asking For a Friend.” This CD has a very relaxed and refreshing theme, especially because each song effortlessly flows into the next, creating a seamless and easy going listening experience. The lyrics, however, definitely have a deeper meaning to them when examined closely. The opening line to the song New Wings expressed that “If this is only just a microphone, Can anybody say what they really want.” This goes along with the idea of how easy going and vibey this album is, and how the lyrics can be overlooked because of this, so does it truly matter what messages you convey through them?
Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed this album, and felt that each track had its unique qualities, without outshining other songs off of the album. “It’s Not Your Fault”, track ten, was one of my personal favorites. The guitar solos really added a new layer of rock to this album, and it was a nice contrast to some of the more toned down and soft rock tracks. Track one, “I Don’t Know What I Want” is also one of my favorites, because I feel that this track opened up the album very well, and introduced the carefree and laid back energy that the album carried throughout. This album stands out from other albums within this similar genre because of its versatility. I can genuinely imagine myself listening to this album in so many different places, with different people, creating different memories with each listen.
This album deserves a 5/5 star rating, not only for its non-skip track list, but its all around flexibility and easy going energy. I would recommend this album to a person of any music taste, as your fondness of these tracks may surprise you.
Written by Hailey Nieto