The first song on this album has this dreamy sort of sound to it that I didn't struggle for a second to place. It sounds like- at least in the verses- the 311 song "Beautiful Disaster". "Today seems like a good day / Burn another bridge or two" You either know the lyrics or you don't, but "Beautiful Disaster" is one of the better songs by 311 (who I've seen perform live) and so if you were going to channel such a band I suppose it's better than, um, most of their other songs.
After this, the songs somehow become a blend of shoegaze and emo. Is there a name for this genre yet? If there is, don't tell me. I'm better of not knowing what the kids have come up with these days. But yes, it has that dreamy sort of Presents for Sally feel that you could relate to shoegaze but also a sense of Sherwood or Waking Ashland, which for the sake of explaining something easily goes back to emo. (Though maybe that could just go to JamisonParker?)
This takes us into a more Breakfast Club feel by the third song because you'll be thinking "Don't you forget about me / Hey! Hey! Hey! Heeeeeyyyyy!" and the fourth song is an instrumental interlude with has a Death Cab for Cutie feel to it. (No, I will possess YOUR heart) But there are a total of ten songs on here and I am not going to tell you about each of them one by one because that would take too long.
What you have to understand is that if Jeff Runnings seems like he's bringing out other songs and artists at first it's okay because it just gives you this feeling of comfort, of familiarity, and then I feel like by the fifth song and on, though he can sound a little bit like Duran Duran, he sort of carves his own path and creates his own dreamy sound.
If this was to happen in any other order it might not work, but it's kind of like going into the pool and getting wet little by little because not everybody just jumps right in. You know, but once you do get fully wet and are swimming around and comfortable you realize what a good thing it is. So it just really couldn't be an easier album to fall in love with.