All the power pop blogs are talking at me. I don’t hear every word they’re saying but it’s hard not to catch the drift. They’re pretty bonkers over this crew of performers and for good reason. They pop rock! Today I play catch up on some pretty superior tune-age. What’s fun in the ever-so-slightly competitive world of blogging is seeing who puts up what and when. Early adopters are cool! But even when we post the same things – and why not? It’s all about supporting the music – it’s fun to notice how we don’t necessarily highlight the same songs. Here I’ve tried to shine a light on some different cuts from these new albums.
Like Danny Wilkerson. His self-titled solo debut is chock full of should-be hits but my ear got caught on “How She Lost My Heart” with its subtle Beatle and Badfinger-isms. And it’s just a great catchy tune! How She Lost My Heart
Another project burning up the power pop blogosphere is Bird Streets, which brings together John Brodeur and Jason Falkner in a truly winning combination. Bloggers and radio programmers have hit upon “Betting on the Sun” as the break out hit single and it’s hard not to agree. But here again I’m drawn to the more unusual “Thanks for Calling” with its bevy of unexpected hooks tucked in here and there.
In the ‘he keeps getting better and better’ category, Nick Piunti’s new album Temporary High is a treat, kinda like Mike Viola meets Tom Petty. This guy puts pop and rock together like a pro! Again, I’m hard pressed to single out just one song. The opening title track blasts out of the gate with ‘hit’ written all over it, the guitar and organ on “You Invented Hell” are exquisite, while “If This Was Right” strikes the more mellow melodic sweet spots. But I’ve settled on “No Return” which I think would not sound out of place on a Marshall Crenshaw or Mike Viola album. I’ve always been a sucker for the more sibilant, chimey, melody-drenched material.
A record I was really looking forward to was Rob Bonfiglio’s Trouble Again and it does not disappoint. Bonfiglio is a master of the compressed late 1970s poprock sound, evident in the hit single-ish “Passenger Seat.” But don’t overlook “Tears” which channels a bit of ELO and 10CC. Really, the whole record is eminently listenable.Tears
Rounding things out on this post is a selection from Caddy’s Ten Times Four. The ear is naturally drawn to the crashy, bouncy crunch of opening track “Miracle Turn” with its ear worm worthy hooks. Yet I found myself seduced by the more midtempo, Teenage Fanclub-ish elegance of “Reverie.”Reverie
Summer’s officially over but you can go where the sun’s still shining, courtesy these tunes. Give these new albums from Danny Wilkerson, Bird Streets, Nick Piunti, Rob Bonfiglio, and Caddy a spin and tell me you’re not sailing on a summer breeze.