Thursday, June 10, 2010
CD of the Day, 6/10/10: Billy Goodrum-Weightless
The first thing you need to know is that Billy Goodrum is a music pro. He got his start at the Berklee College of Music, went on to play with jazz legends Lionel Hampton and Ronnie Laws, collaborated with Vanessa Carlton, and has scored numerous films and TV shows - most notably a series of Farrelly Brothers movies. He performed one of his own songs on the Kingpin soundtrack and turned in a fine cover of Steely Dan's "Razor Boy" on the Me, Myself & Irene soundtrack. All the while, Goodrum has been writing and recording pop tunes here and there (some which have been heard in films), and has accumulated enough of them over the years to release his long-in-the-making debut album Weightless.
It was worth the wait as he's crafted one of 2010's best releases, one that should appeal to pop fans across the board. Perhaps the most direct comparison here would be another music pro much beloved in the power pop community, Seth Swirsky. Like Swirsky, Goodrum makes his hooks and melodies sound almost effortless while still being durable enough to hold up on repeated listens. This is demonstrated on the first track, "I'll Stay With You", a midtempo number that features a nice piano hook. And the hits keep on coming: the folkish "Hold On", the Chris Von Sniedern-esque "One Last Kiss", the more rocking title track, and the Beatlesque "Finished", where the Swirsky comparison is most dead-on.
This is just scratching the surface, as you also get the straight-up power pop of "Nerve Up", more Britpop with "Everlasting", and the sublime "Between the Eyes". Rounding things out is "We Should Always Be Together" the aforementioned Kingpin track. With its song-to-song uniform high quality, Weightless plays like a greatest hits album and given Goodrum's history it really is one, albeit a greatest hits collection of almost exclusively unreleased material. This one's a likely shoo-in for my year-end top 5, and could contend for #1.
CD Baby | MySpace (nothing from Weightless on here, but a great place to sample his TV/film scoring work)
If you're a Napster subscriber, you can listen here (or to 30-second samples if you're not): Weightless by Billy Goodrum