Lannie Flowers-New Songs Old Stories. I wanted to like Lannie Flowers' 2008 debut album Same Old Story, but it was really a tease - one short snippet after another in a medley of thirty-something overall song fragments. In 2010, he released Circles, which consisted of proper full-length songs and it was a revelation, placing #8 on my year-end list. To follow that up, Flowers went back and resurrected nine tracks from Same Old Story to record as full songs, based on requests from his fans. Having done that, he's bucking for a return trip to my top 10 as he continues his mastery of power pop. The Who-like "Another Weekend" opens things in rocking fashion, "Come on Girl" has an early-Beatles/Merseyside feel to it and "Give Me a Chance" is picture-perfect jangle pop. Now he just needs to do a few more volumes of the remaining 25 songs from Same Old Story.
The JAC-Faux Pas. Aussie Joe Algeri has been around a while, as a member of Jack & The Beanstalk and most recently the power pop supergroup The Britannicas, as well as several solo records to his credit. His latest is a solo effort, but he's chosen to go by "The JAC" here. Faux Pas is a pop record through and through, full of the various styles Algeri has shown throughout his career, ranging from the ramshackle 60s pop of opening track (and mission statement) "Play All the Instruments" to the straight-ahead power pop (if not straight-ahead lyrics) of "I Just Want to Be Weird" to the almost punk-pop of "Julie Got Angry". There's plenty of good ol' goofy weirdness here with fun tracks like "I'm a Glass of Orange Juice" and the Ray Davies-esque "Romano the Dog". And just to make the whole experience extra fun, Algeri includes a bonus disc of 10 covers titled Drugs, Trucks & Jesus. You can't say you won't get your money's worth from this one.
Kool Kat | Bandcamp