A couple of returning solo artists take us into the weekend:
Dan Kibler-Dan Kibler. Back with his first album since 2008 and his debut on the Kool Kat label, Dan Kibler once again regales us with an album of mature power pop. With production from Parallax Project's Mike Giblin and help from longtime collaborator Jeff Murphy of Shoes, Kibler's tunes remain rooted in pop yet have a world-weary tinge of Americana to them, not unlike Bryan Estepa or Ted Lukas. Opening rocker "The Misunderstood" is a great example of this dynamic, as is Tom Pettyesque "Broken Bent and Bound". "45 Seconds More" is straight-ahead power pop, as is his cover of The Zombies' "I Can't Make Up My Mind", and "Another Day" and "Is it True" show he's capable of first-rate roots rock. A welcome return, and Kool Kat is offering up their usual bonus disc including tracks from his fine first two discs.
Kool Kat | Listen at official site
Kevin Bents-The Honors. Also back for the first time since 2008 is Kevin Bents, whose The Means was a pleasant out-of-left-field surprise. But while he isn't surprising us this time around, The Honors is still top-drawer singer-songwriter pop. "Not the Kind" is an excellent mid-tempo track that recalls solo Donald Fagen, the piano-and-guitar number "I Wait" shows off Bents' pop skills, and the spare ballad "Somebody Got a Hold" has staying power. Perhaps the most interesting track here is "Downtown", a busy yet melodic track that starts and ends slowly yet rocks and mixes in some R&B in between. So do I go for the usual punny ending and say that Bents passes here with "honors"? Why yes I do.
CD Baby | iTunes