Album Review :
Key To The Midway - Keep It To Yourself

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Band: Key To The Midway
Title: Keep It To Yourself
Label: Independent
Release Date: Summer 2010
Reviewer: Shawn H.


  1. Scenery
  2. Farewell
  3. Drifting
  4. Just Me & You
  5. You’ve Got Me

Mini-Biography (from MySpace):

From Timbuktu to Kalamazoo, Michigan pop-rockers Key to the Midway are out proving their relevance in today’s music scene. After over a year of meshing their respective influences into their innovative sound, they’ve already generated quite the buzz. To live up to the hype surrounding the group, Key to the Midway teamed up with producer Rob Freeman (Cobra Starship, Hit the Lights, etc) in creating the quintet’s upcoming offering dubbed “Keep it to Yourself.” With over 1,500 plays within the first 2 hours of releasing their first track titled “Scenery,” it’s become quite evident that fans of this group are having a tough time keeping them to their selves.

To vocalist and songwriter Jesse Barnes, this comes as no surprise. After his previous efforts with his brother Shane had earned over 110,000 plays online and the attention of Fearless Records, it was only a matter of time before the Barnes tandem would be back at it again. This time around however, they would gain the metal influenced core of brothers Drew and Ryan English as well as lifelong friend Corey Yoder who had been in talks with the brothers about a project for 3 years.

The name of the game with these guys is quite unique. By combining heavier undertones with delicate melodies and infectious choruses, it’s undeniable that Key to the Midway have the much needed breath of fresh air rock enthusiasts have been searching for. It’s not often that you can mention Justin Timberlake, Boys Like Girls, and Misery Signals in the same sentence let alone the same breath of air. But somehow Key to the Midway have done it and by boasting their plans of “hit[ting] the road in a beat up van, show to show” it’s quite obvious that they’re already making the full time commitment of being a successful name in the pop-rock game.


This had it highs & lows. I felt that a lot of the tracks were too mainstream. Originality these days is important, but I guess if you follow a model that already works, you should succeed, right? At a total time of 19.1 minutes, this CD perfect for a quick trip across town. Songs that stand out would be “Drifting” & “Just Me & You”. These guys are off to a great start & hopefully we’ll hear more from them in the coming years. Let’s hope that we’ll see a bit more diversity on their next CD!