It’s too bad that Midget’s album doesn’t live up to the band’s name. Perhaps it’s a case of classic overcompensation, but the biggest flaw in Jukebox is that it’s simply too long. The fifteen songs on “Jukebox” come across as mostly a blend of Brit pop-rock and American pop-punk. There’s hints of the Boo Radleys, the Housemartins, Green Day, the Monkees, and Supergrass throughout. Midget mixes in a goofy sensibility at times that is sort of fun and refreshing (“Ben Wants to Be a Secret Agent”), but doesn’t provide enough punch to keep the mixture from growing a little stale by the end.
Oddly enough, when the British lead vocals turn softer, they sound exactly like Greg Humphreys’ (Dillon Fence, Hobex). The rest of the time, however, they fall more towards a Supergrass style with a little more speed and urgency.
Midget is not a bad band, and some of the songs on Jukebox are quite catchy. They throw in a pretty mean horn section for variety on a couple of tunes, and keep most within the three minute pop song range. However, there are a few, like “Welcome Home Jellybean,” that come across a rather trite. Jukebox would be a much better album if it were only around ten songs long. Then the band could live up to its name and maybe be bigger by doing so. Huh?