Eric Crugnale-Carol Was Here. Getting in under the wire for my 2010 year-end list (which is coming next week) is Long Island's Eric Crugnale and his excellent debut Carol Was Here. This is fully-realized mature pop in the vein of David Mead and Seth Swirsky, and the lovely, Bacharachian title track draws you in right from the start. "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" is smart guitar pop, and "I'm So Glad" has a soulful feel to it that recalls Scot Sax & Wanderlust. There's no doubt that the whole album sounds like something unearthed from the 1970s, and the production from Kevin Bents (whose The Means was a favorite of ours a couple of years back) is top-notch. Other highlights include the bouncy, catchy "Unreliable Friend", the McCartneyesque 1:39-in-length "Never Thought", and the gentle, inspiring "Leave Your Worries Behind", which sounds like an oft-covered standard but isn't. A mightily impressive debut that sounds more like the work of a 20-year pro.
CD Baby | Official Site | iTunes
Baby Scream-Baby Scream. Baby Scream is Argentina's Juan Pablo Mozzolla, and he's become a regular around these parts with a full-length, and EP and now another full-length in space of about 2 years. If you like the first two releases, you'll love this one, and if you missed them this is a good a place to start as any. The Teenage Fanclub-ish "Powerpop Crush" announces Mozzolla's intent, and the moody "Exile" is a treat. Additionally, the martial, staccato "Getting Better"-like beat of "Mental Case" is irresistible and the social conscience of "Watching the End of the World (on TV)" is backed up by its intelligent melody and structure. Mozzolla has been known to channel John Lennon in his vocal style, and "What About You" finds him channeling the snarling Lennon of "How Do You Sleep" to good effect. Another high-quality outing that wears its influences well.
MySpace | iTunes | CD/Vinyl (from England)