Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gamilons Freebie

Ray at Kool Kat is making The Gamilons EP which I reviewed the other day free with any purchase. So pick up one of the fine discs I've reviewed recently (or any other of your choice), and get The Gamilons throw in for free. Too bad Billy Mays isn't around to pitch this.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Two for Thursday, 1/28/10

Research Turtles-Research Turtles. Classic rock lovers, here's your band. Louisiana's Research Turtles (a literal band of brothers) manage to capture the art of the riff (one track is even titled "The Riff Song") while remaining tuneful enough to appeal to power poppers. Opener "Let's Get Carried Away" is the epitome of this balancing act, mixing heavy guitar riffs with an indelible melody. "Mission" is another winner, a raveup with cojones that has another chorus that'll stick in your head. Elsewhere, "Kiss Her Goodbye" is the kind of power ballad that's de rigeur on albums like this, but it works; the aforementioned "Riff Song" recalls Zeppelin, and "Tomorrow" is another display of their pop smarts. One could call them a Southern-fried Oasis, and like those Brits did in their 90s heyday, they manage to make the old sound new again, and that's no easy feat.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Research Turtles

Dino-Fool's Gold. Here at Absolute Powerpop, we scour the globe for power pop artists that deserve recognition, and our latest international power popper of mystery is Sweden's Dino. He remains a bit of a real mystery since I can't find a MySpace or a bio, but the album speaks for itself, a mix of ELO with 70s pop sounds not unlike similarly-minded artists like Pop Is Art! and AlternativA. "I Don't Believe in Love Anymore" bears the Jeff Lynne influence (in fact, it reminds me a bit of Kelly Groucutt's solo minor hit "Am I a Dreamer"). "Love is the Drug" is not a Roxy Music cover, but he does borrow from ELO again with the lyrics "do ya, do ya want my love" with another driving pop melody, and "The World Where You Live" (not a Crowded House cover) is another pop gem with bombastic backing. Other highlights include "California Blue Skies", which sounds as ebullient as its title, "Mrs. Frost", which has a bit of Fountains of Wayne about it, and the Lynnesque (or LEO-esque) ballad "Someone by Your Side". With a nondescript moniker like Dino, he's hard to Google, but easy on the ears.

CD Baby | iTunes

Fool`s Gold

Another Best of 09 Power Pop List.

The Brazilian site Power Pop Station has unveiled its Top 100 of 2009 (and its top 10 EPs). My only quibble is that Plasticsoul's Peacock Swagger is completely absent.

Dig in here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Two for Tuesday, 1/26/10

The Gamilons-Blue Whispers EP. Had it come across my desk upon its fall 2009 release date, this Delaware band's debut EP would have made the year-end EP list. As it stands, better late than never for this Cliff Hillis-produced 3-song gem. Fans of Hillis and his work in Starbelly will be at home here, from the hook-filled Beatlesque opener "Blue Shadows" to the acoustic-based "Whisper in a World" to the sublime and sweet melodies of "Summer Surfer Girl". We always say "bring on the full length" in these instances but I'll gladly settle for an EP with more tracks if they're going to be this good.

Not Lame | MySpace

The 88-This Must Be Love. LA's The 88 have a higher profile than most acts I review on this site - their songs have been featured in countless TV shows and films (see here), and they had their 2008 album Not Only...But Also released on Island Records with big-name producers Matt Wallace and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds in charge. This came on the heels of their brilliant self-released album Over and Over (which placed #6 on my 2005 year-end list) and there was quite a bit of expectation associated with the followup. Not Only...But Also turned out to be a decent album, but lacked the sharpness and cohesion of Over and Over, another example of an indie band losing its identity on a major label. So it was a pleasant surprise to see them back, without fanfare and barely a year later, with a self-released digital-only album that doesn't quite match Over and Over's peaks, but sounds like The 88 again.

True to its title, This Must Be Love's main theme is L-O-V-E, and their pop smarts are on full display here. "Go to Heaven" opens the disc with what might be the power pop equivalent of "You Can't Hurry Love"; the title track is pop goodness; "Love is the Thing" is a 2:19 blast of slinky hooks; "One of These Days" recalls "Hide Another Mistake", their all-time greatest tune; and "Let Me Go" is one of those tearjerker ballads that stays with you. It's good to have The 88 back.

MySpace | iTunes

Friday, January 22, 2010

Two for TGIF, 1/22/10

Andy Lehman & The Night Moves-Lowcountry. Lehman's 2007 debut Landline was a Butch Walker-styled power pop disc, but on his followup with The Night Moves, he opts for a more atmospheric pop sound that comes down somewhere between Steven Mark and Coldplay. Lowcountry is a loose concept album about a South Carolina boy who falls in love with a girl, can't commit, loses her, stalks her, and then kills her new boyfriend. But despite the Southern Gothic subject matter, the concept is done with a light touch, allowing the songs to stand on their own. Highlights include the midtempo "You Can Leave The Light On", the poppy "Million to One", and the absolutely gorgeous "All Along the Roads We Walked", which takes on added resonance once the album's concept is grasped. A rewarding listen.

MySpace | iTunes

Prattle On, Rick-Communion Bread. This amusingly-titled act consists of Nashville singer-songwriter Patrick Rickelton and whoever happens to be backing him at the moment. His debut EP is a folk-pop delight, evoking Elliott Smith and Simon & Garfunkel in equal parts. "My Holiday" is gracefully tuneful, "Lift Up" does just that, and "Lately" sounds like an instant classic. Prattle on all you'd like, Rick.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Two for Tuesday, 1/19/10

Chris Abad-No Glory. This NYC rocker and ex-member of Dough has given us the first great power pop disc of 2010. Mixing in influences from Elvis Costello to Squeeze to Weezer, Abad has cooked up 8 tracks of power pop goodness from the rocking "All in My Head" to the clean midtempo melodies of "Downer". Others standouts in this lean all-killer/no-filler collection include the title track power ballad, the anthemic "Living Without You" and the irresistible "Trouble", perhaps the disc's best track. Stop what you're doing and give it a listen below.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Anny Celsi-Tangle-Free World. Anny Celsi's new disc may be a "tangle-free world" but it's certainly not a jangle-free one as she evokes a Byrds-by-way-of-Beach-Boys sound here. The LA jangle-pop mafia is out in full force on this, with Nelson Bragg producing and the likes of The Wondermints, Robbie Rist and Adam Marsland contributing. The opening title track captures the sound here, 12-string guitars and sitars galore, with Celsi's voice a perfect match for the proceedings. "Thanksgiving in Hollywood" has just the kind of noir-ish jangle feel that recalls "King of the Hill", Roger McGuinn's team-up with Tom Petty. Bragg steps out from behind the mixing board to contribute vocals to Celsi's tres cool cover of Nancy Sinatra's "One Velvet Morning", making Sweet & Hoffs sound like kids by comparison, and Evie Sands joins for a cover of the 1963 Jaynetts classic "Sally Go Round the Roses" that sounds completely in place here. Retro yet original, this disc is one world in which there's nothing wrong in getting tangled.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Twitter Recommendations.

I've decided to start using my Twitter feed to bring to your attention discs that I've liked (usually enough to put on my iPod) but don't anticipate getting around to reviewing on the site. I'll try to do one a day for now. So if you're not already doing so, follow me on Twitter (@AbPow), or if you'd prefer, view the feed on the widget over to the right.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

EP Thursday.

After filibustering with lists and videos, it's time to break out some new music. Here are 3 EPs that recently came across my desk that are worth a listen:

Kevin Lee & The Kings-Dusk Till Dawn. Some of you may remember Lee from his 2006 solo effort Flip the Switch, and for those who don't, Lee is a classic rocker/power popper in the Cheap Trick mold and the new EP with his backing band gets us off to a nice 2010 start. Opener "The Other Side" takes no prisoners with its driving rock style and big hooks, "Next Best Thing" rocks with attitude, and if this were the 80s, the power ballad par excellence "Invisible" would launch a thousand cigarette lighters. Rock on!

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Dan Payson-Lewis-Hearts and Minds. Adam Merrin of The 88 brought this SoCal singer-songwriter to my attention and I'm glad he did. He does share a similar pop sensibility to Merrin and his band, and these four songs make quite an auspicious debut. I hear bits of everyone from David Mead to Coldplay in the mix, from the power poppin' opener "It's a Long Way Down" to the lovely title track ballad. It's always a cliche to include the phrase "can't wait for the full length" in an EP review, but it really applies for this one.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Hearts And Minds

Michael Gross & The Statuettes-Impulse & Exports. Last summer Gross & his band put out the fine EP Dust & Daylight and together with this new EP, they've released the equivalent of one kick-ass full-length. If you liked Dust & Daylight, you'll love this one and Gross & Co. have further refined their heartland-rock-with-a-touch-of-Americana sound. The noirish "Keep Driving" sets the tone with its late-period Replacements rock style, and the moody yet urgent "On and On" is equally outstanding. And for those familiar with Gross and his earlier solo disc Tales From a Country Home, he offers up a full-band version of that disc's "No Good", and it's anything but. I can wait for a full-length if Gross & Co. are content to crank out a top-notch EP every six months or so.

CD Baby | MySpace | Official Site

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Maple Mars video.

Maple Mars has a new album coming out on Kool Kat in March, titled Galaxyland, and here's a video for "New Day", one of the new tracks. It's not exactly a visual spectacle, but the song is pretty darned good.

Monday, January 11, 2010

David Bash's Top 100 of 2009, #1-50

UPDATE: In a bit of power pop blogging synergy, Aaron at Powerpopaholic has posted an interview with Mr. Bash.

The top half of David Bash's Top 100 of 2009:

1. The Madd-The Madd Are Pretty Quick (Excelsior)
2. Mark & The Spies-Give Me A Look (Screaming Apple)
3. Philip John-Master The Monster (Self-Released)
4. The Tomorrows-Jupiter Optimus Maximus (Kool Kat)
5. Throwback Suburbia-Throwback Suburbia (Self-Released)
6. The Resonars-That Evil Drone (Burger)
7. The Lovedays-The Lovedays (Self-Released)
8. David Brookings-Glass Half Full (Self-Released)
9. Curtains For You-What A Lovely Surprise To Wake Up Here (Spark & Shine)
10. The Humbugs-On The Upside (Oddvious)
11. The Telepathic Butterflies-Wow & Flutter (Rainbow Quartz)
12. Wiretree-Luck (Self-Released)
13. Paul Steel-Moonrock (Ray Gun)
14. Valley Lodge-Semester At Sea (Explosive Industries)
15. White Star Liners-The Rural Electrification (Self-Released)
16. Roger Klug-More Help For Your Nerves (Mental Giant)
17. Dennis Diken With Bell Sounds-Late Music (Crypto Vision)
18. High Child-Yesterday Today (Self-Released)
19. Tony Cox-Unpublished (Self-Released)
20. Brendan Benson-My Old, Familiar Friend (ATO)
21. Rabbit Childen-Thou Shalt Have A Time Machine (Clutter Bear)
22. Jason Falkner-All Quiet On The Noise Floor (Noise McCartney)
23. The Chymes-The Chymes (Monophonic)
24. Secret Powers-And The Electric Family Choir (Self-Released)
25. The Laureates-There Are No More Gentlemen (Funambulist)
26. The Fore-Run & Hide (Self-Released)
27. Parallax Project-I Hate Girls (Kool Kat)
28. Jeremy-Journey To The Center Of The Heart (Jam)
29. Chris Richards And The Subtractions-Sad Sounds Of The Summer (Self-Released)
30. The Junior League-Smile Shoot Smile (Last Resort)
31. Jamie & Steve-English Afterthoughts (Loaded Goat)
32. Michael Carpenter-Redemption #39 (Self-Released)
33. Lannie Flowers-Same Old Story (Aaron Ave.)
34. Cheap Trick-The Latest (Self-Released)
35. The Pictures-Kicking Indifference (High Spot)
36. Deleted Waveform Gatherings-Ghost She Said (Rainbow Quartz)
37. Marykate O’Neil-Underground (Self-Released)
38. Grand Atlantic-How We Survive (Laughing Outlaw)
39. The Generous Days-These Are The Generous Days (GD)
40. The Webstirs-So Long (Ginger)
41. The Anydays-Beat Songs (Self-Released)
42. True Margrit-The Jugglers Progress (Youdjinni)
43. The Shadow Kabinet-Smiling Worlds Apart (Sound Good)
44. El Goodo-Coyote (Grease)
45. Plasticsoul-Peacock Swagger (Self-Released)
46. The Mayflowers-Bremen Rock (Rooster)
47. Magic Christian-Evolver (Wizard’s Den)
48. The June-Magic Circles (Rainbow Quartz)
49. Steven Lawrenson-Somewhere Else (Shoestring)
50. The Shazam-Meteor (Not Lame)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

David Bash's Top 100 of 2009, #51-100

The bottom half of Mr. Bash's Top 100 of 2009:

51. The Corner Laughers-Ultraviolet Garden (Self-Released)
52. Evan Hillhouse-Transition (Self-Released)
53. The Brigadier-Time Is A Wound (Self-Released)
54. The Higher State-Darker By The Day (13 O’Clock)
55. Green Day-21st Century Breakdown (Warner Brothers)
56. The Tangerines-In Season (Self-Released)
57. The Grande-The Grande (Self-Released)
58. Your Gracious Host-Easy Red (Self-Released)
59. The Naomi Star-Through The Eyes (Self-Released)
60. The Dukes Jetty-Fine And Dandy (Self-Released)
61. The Yum Yums-…Whatever Rhymes With Baby (Pop Detective)
62. John Lefler-Better By Design! (Goodhang)
63. Steven Deal-Radio Twelve (Seditionary Kitten)
64. The Duckworth Lewis Method-The Duckworth Lewis Method (1969)
65. Rumor 2-Rumor 2 (Rock Indiana)
66. Philip Vandermost-The Long Path (Self-Released)
67. Kyle Vincent-Where You Are (Songtree)
68. Lamar Holley-Confessions Of A College Student (Self-Released)
69. The Leftovers-Eager To Please (Oglio)
70. Tinted Windows-Tinted Windows (Curve)
71. Beagle Hat-Orange Groove (Halftonic)
72. The Black Hollies-Softly Towards The Light (Ernest Jenning)
73. The Milk & Honey Band-Dog Eared Moonlight (Ape House)
74. Zender-Acid Avenue (Sandy Hills)
75. Dennis Schocket-The Cinderblock Mansion (National)
76. Jeff Litman-Postscript (Self-Released)
77. Simon Felton-Failing In Biology (Pink Hedgehog)
78. Shplang-My Big Thee Wheeler (Jam)
79. Tenniscourts-Dig The New Sounds Of Tenniscourts (Sweet Science)
80. The Alice Rose-All Haunt’s Sound (Emerald Wood)
81. The Beat Rats-A Cellarfull Of Rats! (Kool Kat)
82. Madness-The Liberty Of Norton Folgate (Lucky Seven)
83. Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey-Here And Now (Bar None)
84. The Setting Son-Spring Of Hate (Bad Afro)
85. The Help Desk-Peel The Sun (Self-Released)
86. Adam Marsland-Go West (Karma Frog)
87. Hathaway Brown-Keep Moving Forward (Self-Released)
88. The Kavanaughs-The Kavanaughs (Eternal Sunday)
89. The Jetnicks-The Jetnicks (Self-Released)
90. The Tripwires-House To House (Spark & Shine)
91. The Campbell Stokes Sunshine Recorder-Makes Your Ears Smile (Jack O The Green)
92. Mark Carroll-Dust Of Rumour (High Noon)
93. Johan-4 (Excelsior)
94. Dreaming In Stereo-Dreaming In Stereo (Dying Van Gogh)
95. Jason Karaban-Sobriety Kills (Ascend)
96. Peter & The Penguins-How To Choose A Sweetheart (Not Lame)
97. Pointed Sticks-Three Lefts Make A Right (Northern Electric)
98. Navy Blue-At Home (Bendi)
99. The Reckless Hearts-Get Up And Run (Off The Hip)
100. Strangefinger-Into The Blue (SideB)

Friday, January 08, 2010

The David Bash 2009 lists, part 2.

II. Top Reissue Of Recent Vintage

Paranoid Lovesick-Suburban Pop Allegro (Self-Released)

III. Top 5 Eps

1. Greg Pope-Pete (Octoberville)
2. The Parties-Cryin’ Shame (Rainbow Quartz)
3. The Offbeat-To The Rescue EP (Self-Released)
4. The Peppermint Apes-The Miracle EP (4 Real)
5. Los Glosters-Canciones (Florinata)

IV. Top 5 Compilations-Single Artists

1. Pugwash-Giddy (Ape House)
2. The Ace-Awhamalambambang: Recordings & Demos 2005-2008 (Self-Released)
3. The Anything People-Anthology: 2004-2010 (Self-Released)
4. Paranoid Lovesick-Tuxedo Avenue Breakdown (Self-Released)
5. The Mighty Uptight-Technicolour TV Head: Recordings & Demos 1999-2003 (Self-Released)

V. Top 4 Compilations-Various Artists

1. International Pop Overthrow, Vol. 12 (Not Lame)
2. Charlotte Pop Fest ’09 (Deem)
3. The Paisley Polka Dot Picnic Party (Brand Medway)
4. Shindig! Presents-It’s Happening!

VI. Top Tribute Disc-Single Artist

The Smithereens-Rock Tommy (E1 Entertainment)

VII. Top 2 Tribute Discs-Various Artists

Do You Wanna Be In The Show?-A Pop Tribute To The Jetset (Twist)
Forty One Sixty-The Songs Of The Shambles (Blindspot)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Let the Bash-ing begin!

Once again, Absolute Powerpop is proud to present the year-end lists of the inestimable David Bash, Mr. International Pop Overthrow. David puts me to shame as not only does he have a top 100 and top EP list, he has lists for compilations, reissues, etc. Tonight we'll start with the reissues and work our way to the main list proper. There's so much to check into with these lists (even on my end) that it's best not to unveil them all at once. So without further ado, here are his comprehensive Best of 2009 Reissues lists:

There are still some reissues I haven't heard which would probably make the list, but there's only so much time and $$.ok, mainly $$; I'll always somehow find the time. :) - David Bash

I. Top 50 Proper Albums

1. The Bee Gees-Odessa (Rhino)
2. The Who-The Who Sell Out: Deluxe Edition (Universal)
3. Duncan Browne-Give Me, Take You (Grapefruit)
4. The Dukes Of Stratosphear-Psonic Psunspot (Ape House)
5. Starbelly-Lemon Fresh: Tenth Anniversary Reissue (National)
6. The Peppermint Trolley Company-Beautiful Sun (Now Sounds)
7. Chilliwack-Riding High (Pacemaker)
8. The Golden Earrings-Winter Harvest (RPM)
9. Pilot-Morin Heights (RPM)
10. Mark Eric-A Midsummer’s Daydream (Now Sounds)
11. The Dukes Of Stratosphear-25 O’Clock (Ape House)
12. Status Quo-Picturesque Matchstickable Messages From Status Quo: Deluxe Edition (Universal)
13. Sagittarius-Present Tense (Rev-Ola)
14. R.E.M.-Reckoning: Deluxe Edition (Universal)
15. Chris Bell-I Am The Cosmos (Rhino Handmade)
16. Pilot-From The Album Of The Same Name (RPM)
17. The Stone Roses-The Stone Roses: Legacy Edition (Silvertone/Legacy)
18. The Icicle Works-Permanent Damage (Cherry Red)
19. The Cowsills-Captain Sad And His Ship Of Fools (Now Sounds)
20. Makin’ Time-No Lumps Of Fat Or Gristle Guaranteed (Big Beat)
21. Piccadilly Line-The Huge World Of Emily Small (Grapefruit)
22. The American Breed-Bend Me, Shape Me (Magic)
23. Pilot-Second Flight (RPM)
24. Salt Water Taffy-Finders Keepers (Rev-ola)
25. Rod Stewart-A Night On The Town: Deluxe Edition (Warner Brothers)
26. The Guess Who-Wheatfield Soul (Sony Music)
27. Chad & Jeremy-The Ark (Rev-Ola)
28. David Bowie-David Bowie: Deluxe Edition (EMI)
29. Thunderclap Newman-Hollywood Dream (Esoteric)
30. The Golden Earrings-Miracle Mirror (RPM)
31. Gary Walker & The Rain-Album No. 1 (Universal)
32. Terry McManus-Sunshine Pop (Bullseye)
33. Status Quo-Spare Parts: Deluxe Edition (Universal)
34. Procol Harum-Shine On Brightly (Salvo)
35. Earth And Fire-Atlantis (Esoteric)
36. Amazing Blondel-Mulgrave Street (Talking Elephant)
37. Horslips-The Man Who Built America (Horslips)
38. Tinkerbell’s Fairydust-Tinkerbell’s Fairydust (Grapefruit)
39. Doug Randle-Songs For The New Industrial State (Light In The Attic)
40. Chris Clark-Soul Sounds (Universal)
41. Edward’s Hand-Edward’s Hand (Grapefruit)
42. Natural Gas-Natural Gas (Renaissance)
43. Rod Stewart-Atlantic Crossing: Deluxe Edition (Warner Brothers)
44. Amazing Blondel-Inspiration (Talking Elephant)
45. Roxette-Tourism (Capitol)
46. The Undertones-The Undertones (Salvo)
47. The Beat Boys-The Beat Boys (Lion)
48. Procol Harum-Procol Harum (Salvo)
49. Bill Fox-Shelter From The Smoke (Scat)
50. Bulldog Breed-Made In England (Grapefruit)

II. Top 10 Two-Fers (and Three-Fers): Proper Albums

1. Flo & Eddie-Illegal, Immoral and Fattening/Moving Targets (Sony)
2. Tommy James & The Shondells-Crimson And Clover/Cellophane Symphony (Rev-Ola)
3. Big Star-#1 Record/Radio City (Fantasy)
4. Paisley Dreams: The Pop-Psych Sounds of Tommy Roe, featuring It’s Now Winter’s Day/Phantasy (Rev-Ola)
5. Chairmen Of The Board-Give Me Just A Little More Time/In Session (Edsel)
6. The Raiders-Indian Reservation/Collage (Raven)
7. Three Dog Night-It Ain’t Easy/Naturally (BGO)
8. Buddy Holly & The Crickets-The Chirping Crickets/Buddy Holly/That’ll Be The Day (Fantasic Voyage)
9. Three Dog Night-Three Dog Night/Suitable For Framing (BGO)
10. The Undertones-Positive Touch/The Sin Of Pride (Salvo)

III. Top 15 Compilations, Single Artist

1. Emitt Rhodes-The Emitt Rhodes Recordings 1969-1973 (Hip-O Select)
2. The Staccatos/Five Man Electrical Band-First Sparks: The Anthology 1965-1969 (Pacemaker)
3. John Pantry-The Upside Down World Of John Pantry (Wooden Hill)
4. The Majority-The Decca Years 1965-68 (Rev-Ola)
5. The Sixpentz-Summer Girl: The Complete Recordings (Now Sounds)
6. Wondermints-Kaleidoscopin’: Exploring Prisms Of The Past (Now Sounds)
7. Gary Lewis & The Playboys-The Complete Liberty Singles (Collector’s Choice)
8. The Onyx-Kaleidoscope Of Colours: The Onyx Demo Sessions 1967 (Wooden Hill)
9. Klaatu-Solology (Bullseye)
10. Clifford T. Ward-Path Through The Forest: The Secret World Of Clifford T. Ward 1964-71 (Wooden Hill)
11. The Breakaways-Walking Out On Love: The Lost Sessions (Alive)
12. Starry Eyed & Laughing-All Their Best (Broadside)
13. Jay & The Americans-The Complete United Artists Singles (Collector’s Choice)
14. Spooky Tooth-Lost In My Dream: An Anthology 1968-1974 (Esoteric)
15. Radio City-Recorded 1977-1980 New York (Radio Heartbeat)

IV. Top 15 Compilations, Various Artists

1. Glitter And Gold: Words And Music By Barry Mann And Cynthia Weil (Ace)
2. Piccadilly Sunshine Part Two: British Pop/Psych And Other Flavours 1966-1971 (Past & Present)
3. Piccadilly Sunshine Part One: British Pop/Psych And Other Flavours 1965-1970 (Past & Present)
4. Clap Your Hands And Stamp Your Feet: 24 Nederglam Tracks From The Early 70s (Excelsior)
5. Chartbusters USA Special Edition: Sunshine Pop (Ace)
6. Mike Hurst-Producers Archives Vol. 3: 1964-1979 (Angel Air)
7. Sweet Surrender: Ember Pop 1970-1978 (Fantastic Voyage)
8. We’re Gonna Change The World!: The ‘60s Chicago Garage Sound Of Quill Productions (Sundazed)
9. After Tonight: Ember Beat Vol. 3 1966-67 (Fantastic Voyage)
10. Wild Thing: The Songs Of Chip Taylor (Ace)
11. Mr. Toytown Presents…Vol. 3 (Toytown)
12. Honey & Wine: Another Gerry Goffin & Carole King Song Collection (Ace)
13. A Solitary Man: The Early Songs Of Neil Diamond (Ace)
14. Shapes & Sounds Vol. Three: Techincolour Dreams From The BBC Archives 1967-1971 (Top Sounds)
15. Wednesday Morning Dew: Realistic Patterns 2-Orchestrated Psychedelia From The U.S.A. (Pyschic Circle)

V. Top 10 Box Sets: Single Artist

1. The Beatles-The Mono Box (Capitol/Apple)
2. The Beatles-The Stereo Box (Capitol/Apple)
3. Buddy Holly-Not Fade Away: The Complete Studio Recordings And More (Hip-O Select)
4. Neil Young-Archives Vol. 1 1963-1972 (Reprise)
5. Big Star-Keep An Eye On The Sky (Rhino)
6. Daryl Hall/John Oates-Do What You Want, Be What You Are (RCA Legacy)
7. Michael Jackson-Hello World: The Motown Solo Collection (Hip-O Select)
8. Shakin’ Stevens-The Epic Masters (Sony/Epic)
9. Procol Harum-All This And More…Procul Harum: A 4 Disc Compendium (Salvo)
9. Richard Thompson-Walking On A Wire 1968-2009 (Shout Factory)
10. Steeleye Span-A Parcel Of Steeleye Span: Their First Five Chrysalis Albums 1972-1975 (EMI)

VII. Top 5 Box Sets: Various Artists

1. The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 11B: 1971 (Hip-O Select)
2. Where The Action Is!: 1965-1968 Los Angeles Nuggets (Rhino)
3. Meet On The Ledge: An Island Records Folk/Rock Anthology (Universal)
4. Woodstock: 40 Years On Back To Yasgur’s Farm (Rhino)
5. A Complete Introduction To Northern Soul (Universal)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

New Year's Roundup.

A few discs that fell through the cracks in December, two of which made the top 100 list:

Joseph Logsdon-Just This Once. Yet another Nashvillian graces the pages of Absolute Powerpop. Logsdon is a pop stylist in the vein of David Mead, Josh Rouse and Freedy Johnston, and his debut album will be a treat for fans of those artists (the first two of whom made Nashville their home as well). The spare but catchy "The Future" is a fine kickoff to the proceedings, and the buoyant "Girl Named Rae" recalls Mead's "Make it Right". Other standouts include the vaguely jazzy "I Wish You Were Here", and the Jon Brionesque "I Don't". This one came a bit late for my 2009 list, but a place on 2010's is a strong possibility.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

La Fleur Fatale-Silent Revolution. This Swedish band's second album was a late 2009 pleasant surprise and was impressive enough to finish in the top half of my year-end list. Quite reminiscent of Soundtrack of Our Lives, La Fleur Fatale manages to blend pop hooks, rock arrangements, and psychedelic flourishes into a heady brew. "Mellow My Mind" and "Release the Colors in Me" are as hooky and trippy as you might expect, and the mid-period Moody Blues of "The Winding Stairs to Dawn" hits the right base. But the real winner here is "Hung Up on a Dream", which finds just the right mix of psych and pop and features a chorus that I haven't been able to get out of my head. A great mix of the 60s and 70s.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

The Pollocks-Wine Diamonds. This husband and wife band's third disc is the charm, as it was also a late entrant into the upper half of the year end list. Reminiscent of Georgie James and The Cheeksters, they have a pleasing indie pop sound. Standouts include the saucy "Coquette", the boy/girl harmonies of "Monday Morning Goodbye", the bouncy "Kiss" and the power pop of "Girls Only Want to Dance". These Pollocks are certainly artful.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Wine Diamonds