Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pre-Thanksgiving Roundup.

J.P. Cregan-Elba. JP Cregan's 2009 debut Man Overboard was one of the more pleasant surprises of that year, placing #12 on my year-end list. Now he's back from exile with his followup full-length Elba, and serves proof the debut was no fluke. Opening track "Wreck" is a great slice of melodic pop which practically swings with its playful guitar riff and horns, "Here it Comes Again" is straight ahead power pop in the Cliff Hillis/Michael Carpenter vein, and "Saw Her on the Metro" has enough of a wall of sound that it recalls a Jeff Lynne production. But in addition to the traditional power pop sound, Cregan moves into foik/rock territory on a few tracks, including the winsome acoustic-based "Susie, Please" and the near-rockabilly of "I Want to Let You Know". This is definitely another strong candidate for the year-end Top 20 in what's shaped up to be a very strong year for power pop.

CD Baby

The Pozers-The Sun's Going Down. Another artist unveiling their sophomore effort is The Pozers, whose debut disc Embrace Your Addiction got quite a bit of love in power pop community back in 2004 before yours truly got immersed in the scene, and on the basis of their fine newly-released followup I'm going to have to back and check that one out. As for The Sun's Going Down, it's a tour de force of power pop styles produced by none other than Roger Manning. The fuzzed-out guitars of "Spacecar" answer the question of what Guided by Voices would have sounded like in 1968, the loping yet melodic "All She Wrote" could pass for a lost Nuggets classic, and "The Separation" expertly evokes Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys. They may be retro, but when you get retro this right you can't be wrong, and that's no pose.

CD Baby | iTunes

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