Fred Argir's new album, Unglued, is a must-own for fans of Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Mike Ness' solo work. Over 14 tracks, Argir combines alt-rock guitar hooks with mature songwriting and vocals that are clean and sharp without sacrificing any of Argir's trademark grit. In fact, "clean and sharp" are descriptors that apply to this album as a whole; one of the many triumphs of Unglued is its clarity, both musically and sonically.

From a creative standpoint, Unglued is Argir's most ambitious album to date. The guitars are more aggressive, with a greater emphasis on acoustic melodies and different chord structures than his previous work. Argir plays slide guitar on this album, a first for him, and makes use of multi-tracked vocals as well. Argir admits to "throwing protocol out the door" with this album, focusing on what seemed fun to him during his creative process, and this send of "coming unglued" is what gave this album its name. 

Despite Argir's freewheeling creative process, Unglued has consistent themes of change and discovery running through it. Argir began writing this album during his move from Denver to New York, and the resulting environmental and career changes ultimately shape this album. Argir has notes that "there's a lot of tension in these songs," resulting from the like "Brand New," "Came Unglued," and "The Count Down."

Those changes affected Argir's production process as well. Most of the recording took place at GWL Studios in New York; the drums were recorded at Winterland Studios in Minneapolis, under the supervision of Todd Fitzgerald. In true DIY fashion for a self-described "old punk/grunge guy", Argir engineered Unglued himself and played every instrument, experimenting with different combinations of microphones, amps, and compressors.  "I really enjoy the experience of making a record," Argir says, adding that "constantly trying new mixes is fun, if difficult." His efforts do a great job of balancing all the instruments present, with no muddy spots or buried sounds, and no single element overwhelms the rest of the mix.

Comparing Argir's sound to other artists isn't easy, which is by design.  "I write things that I like to hear, that I don't hear anywhere else," is how he summarizes his approach to songwriting.  In addition to the artists already mentioned, listeners may find similarities between Unglued and albums by the Smithereens, the Replacements (which is fitting, given Argir's Minnesota roots), Ryan Adams, and Pearl Jam.