John Vesely comes to life as a one man band of sorts as Secondhand Serenade. Secondhand Serenade is acoustic emo, pretty much it’s just Vesely and his acoustic guitar. Occasionally his voice is double tracked, but that’s pretty much it. “Awake” was originally released in 2005 as a self release, but Glassnote was impressed with the attention Vesely had received with the project and decided to release it in 2007.
With two instruments, (guitar and Vesely’s voice), things are going to get repetitive. And they definitely do here. That’s the biggest problem with this; by track 4 you’re pulling your hair at hoping for a little bit of variety. It never comes. Thus it’s not the music itself that’s the problem here; it’s the medium that Vesely is conveying the music. Honestly, he’s not a bad songwriter, and his guitar work is excellent. The repetitiveness just kills this whole album. Vesely needs to put a band together, do a full-fledged album, and then save the acoustic tracks as bonus tracks on that album.