Friday, February 24, 2006

My Top 20 of 2005, #11: Valley Lodge-Valley Lodge

(We now return you to our regularly scheduled countdown of the top 20 of 2005.)

This is album is good. Very good. Very, very good. Great, in fact. It came out around Thanksgiving, so I conservatively slotted it at #11. A couple of months later, I'd have to say it probably deserves a spot a few notches higher at least. (Maybe the Grammys are on to something with making their eligibility year November-October.) Valley Lodge is the project of John Kimbrough (Walt Mink) and Dave Hill (Uptown Sinclair). If the pedigree of those names means anything to you, you know you're in for something good.

This is darn near power pop perfection. Influences from the power pop greats abound here - there's some Matthew Sweet, some Super Deluxe, a smattering of Jellyfish, and even some Tal Bachman (they nicked the chorus from "She's So High" for the track "If It Takes All Night", but it's a good nicking). There's even a little bit of Red Hot Chili Peppers in the surprisingly funky (for a power pop album) "All of My Loving". The falsetto backup vocals throughout the album are a nice touch. This is as strong a release, end-to-end, as you'll find.

And I don't have to be psychic to predict what you'll be doing for the next 35-40 minutes or so: streaming this gem in its entirety from their official site. As far as I'm concerned, there are only two classes of true power pop fans: Those who have already bought this one, or those who will buy it (there's really no question of "if" on this one) at CD Baby, Not Lame or Kool Kat. It's officially check-in time at the Valley Lodge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great resource this site is. Thanks for your hard work here.
I second the recommendation for the Valley lodge disc. I would also add that the vocals remind me of those of Miles Zuniga (Fastball).