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Album Review: Once Just, ‘Destination’

Once Just’s fourth release is an interesting fusion of rock, ska, and reggae with loads of pop influences. The record starts off well enough, as Once Just launch into high gear with the punk-y title track before seamlessly rushing into “Spin it,” “Friends for Life” and “Summer Rain” without missing a beat. But the album’s destination heads for the worse when Once Just’s familiar sound becomes their ultimate demise. Tracks like “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” “Little Boy” and “Work Sucks” all have the same sauntering reggae beat, and catchy pop hooks. It’s at this dull mid-way point where I realize that Once Just is just another safe rock n’ roll cliché that would fit perfectly in a soundtrack for a horrendous teen movie. Surprisingly, the two final tracks revert back to what initially caught my attention. “Black and White” and “Walk Away” are both beaming with energy and end the album on a relatively high note. Overall, Destination is just way too long for its own good, and would have greatly improved had it been cut short to a smooth seven-song EP.

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