Hear Me Now (Secondhand Serenade album)

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Hear Me Now
Studio album by Secondhand Serenade
Released August 3, 2010
Recorded 2009 - 2010
Genre Alternative rock, pop rock, emo pop[1]
Length 40:39
Label Glassnote Records
Producer Aaron Johnson, John Vesely
Secondhand Serenade chronology
A Twist in My Story
(2008)A Twist in My Story2008
Hear Me Now
Singles from Hear Me Now
  1. "Something More"
    Released: June 1, 2010

Hear Me Now is Secondhand Serenade's third studio album, released on August 3, 2010. The album debuted at #42 on the Billboard 200, 2 slots prior to his 2008 release "A Twist in My Story", making his highest chart debut on Billboard 200.


The singer-songwriter calls the album a slight departure from his previous releases, both in content and sound. "This album, for once, talks about how I'm feeling and how I'm kind of coping and moving on,and good things that are going on with me, bad things, things happening with work -- it's not just limited to relationships. A lot of it is more like kind of re-examining who I am and if I'm happy with myself". In an interview, John Vesely stated that the new record will be more upbeat than his last album, which focused on relationships.[2]

The progression reflects his life as both a musician and family man. "I grew up really, really quickly," he says. "I had my first child when I was 20 years old. That's all a part of becoming mature. I had to mature quickly, and very early on ... I have these little kids that rely on me to take care of them. And there's no bigger drive you can possibly have than actual people relying on you." -John Vesely [3]

"The label was telling me that we needed more songs for the album, that we weren't quite done, and I was worried my album was never going to come out," he recalls. "I just sat at the piano and started writing the song; it was a lot different than any of the other songs I'd written, and it...became the first single." Vesely says he "really enjoyed" taking the reins for a few songs. "It was something I've always wanted to do and finally had the confidence to go out and do it," he says. "Some of my favorite songs are the ones I produced myself. It was a really great experience for me." --John Vesely[4]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by John Vesely, and eight of the eleven songs on the album were produced by Aaron Johnson (The Fray) at Swing House studios in Los Angeles, the other three, "You & I", "Hear Me Now" and the first single, "Something More", were produced by John Vesely himself along with Secondhand drummer Tom Breyfogle at Vesely's home studio and mixed by Mark Endert (Train, Maroon 5).[5] The second single is said to be You & I ft: Cady Groves and the 3rd single has been hinted as the title track Ft: Juliet Simms

All tracks written by John Vesely + Juliet Simms on Hear Me Now.

No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "Distance" Aaron Johnson 3:56
2. "Something More" John Vesely, Tom Breyfogle 3:24
3. "Stay Away" Aaron Johnson 2:47
4. "You & I" John Vesely, Tom Breyfogle 3:37
5. "Is There Anybody Out There?" Aaron Johnson 3:42
6. "Reach for the Sky" Aaron Johnson 3:21
7. "Only Hope" Aaron Johnson 3:44
8. "So Long" Aaron Johnson 2:59
9. "World Turns" Aaron Johnson 3:42
10. "Nightmares" Aaron Johnson 4:03
11. "Hear Me Now" (featuring Juliet Simms of Automatic Loveletter) John Vesely, Tom Breyfogle 5:24
Total length: 40:39

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[6]
Idobi 3.5/5 starslink
Rolling Stone 2/5 starslink

The album has received generally unfavorable reviews from critics.

"Sound In The Signals" magazine gave the album a mixed review "Overall, I would say it is a decent pop album. Vesely definitely isn't breaking any new ground and isn't the most original songwriter. The lyrics at times feel weak and in certain spots are a little too repetitive (see “World Turns), but lyrically it has shiny spots. I don't want to be too hard on the album. I always look forward to Secondhand Serenade albums in the same way I always looked forward to An Angle albums. I'm always waiting for the moment when the influences the artists draw from shed away and the artists start to shine as themselves.[7]

Andrew Leahey from Allmusic gave the album 2 stars: "Hear Me Now still clings to Dashbooard Confessional's downtrodden template, with all 11 tracks subscribing to the notion that a song isn’t worth singing unless it involves heartbreak and defeatist lyrics." "Hear Me Now isn't offensive; it's just predictable and anonymous, since none of these songs offer up anything that Secondhand Serenade’s Warped Tour comrades haven't already done with their own albums."[8] 2/5 stars

also gave the album 2 stars: "“Hear Me Now” is characterized by mediocre emo-pop ballads and a heaping of the most stereotypical, tear-your-heart-out-in-the-middle-school-bathroom sound imaginable, but there are surprising moments that manage to transcend the tackiness."[9] 2/5 stars

J. Edward Keyes from Rolling Stone followed the trend in giving the album a 2 star rating: "The tone of penitence and isolation continue throughout the entirety of "Hear Me Now", with Vesely contemplating loneliness both romantic ("Only Hope") and existential ("Is There Anybody Out There?"). 2/5 stars

Sputnik Music gave the album 2 stars (out of 10), "There are too many dull and forgettable moments, too many attempts at emotional grandeur, and too few sincere attempts at “shaking things up.” Unfortunately for Secondhand Serenade, their sound is not good enough to repeat to this extent and outside of a select few moments, very little on Hear Me Now qualifies as new."[10] 2/5 stars

Gregory Robson from Absolute Punk gave the album an 71/100 rating, "While it's not exactly an album of the year candidate, there's enough radio fodder and at least a few hints at the possibility of another platinum-selling single. While Veseley has gone on record as admitting that Hear Me Now would focus less on relationships and more on upbeat numbers, neither of those two things are true."[11]

Album credits[edit]

Performance credits
Technical credits
  • John Vesely – Drum Programming; String arrangement
  • Warren HuartEngineering
  • Robin Holden – Engineering
  • Tom Breyfogle – Engineering; Drum programming
  • Jay Clifford – String arrangement
  • Tim PalmerMixing
  • Mark Endert – Mixing
  • Aaron Johnson – Mixing
  • Stephan Marcussen – Mastering
  • Davie Dunkeith – Assistant Engineer
  • Joey Florence – Assistant Engineer
  • Steve Shebby – Assistant Engineer
  • Wicz – Drum Programming
  • Ryan Cook – Assistant Engineer
Additional credits
  • Nathan Johnson & Marke Johnson – Physical album art direction; Layout; Design
  • Liran Okanon – Digital album booklet design

Release history[edit]

Country Date UPC
United States August 3, 2010 075597978827


  1. ^ Hear Me Now at AllMusic
  2. ^ "Billboard.com". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  3. ^ "Secondhand Serenade Grows Up on 'Hear Me Now' - Exclusive Video". PopEater.com. 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  4. ^ "Secondhand Serenade Matures In the Spotlight On New Album". Billboard.com. 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  5. ^ "Secondhand Serenade (John Vesely) – Hear Me Now + "Something More" single". Band Weblogs. 2010-05-12. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  6. ^ [Hear Me Now at AllMusic link]
  7. ^ "soundinthesignals.tk". soundinthesignals.tk. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  8. ^ Hear Me Now at AllMusic
  9. ^ "Project | His Favorite Christmas Story | Hmv Music | Cash Advance at". Thealbumproject.net. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  10. ^ "Secondhand Serenade - Hear Me Now (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  11. ^ "Secondhand Serenade - Hear Me Now - Album Review - AbsolutePunk.net". Webcache.googleusercontent.com. 2010-08-03. Retrieved 2012-02-20.