It’s been a few months since my last column, but I always wait until the muse moves me…or something pretentious like that. Anyway, here are five discs I wanted you, dear reader, to know about, and hopefully purchase, so read on, if you dare! 😉
The Nashville “King of Twang” has been delivering top shelf power pop albums since the late ‘80s, but his latest may be the best thing he’s done since his debut, Feeling The Elephant. Classic Lloyd tracks like “Undone”, “I’ve Had Enough Of Your Love” and “Not This Time ‘Round” abound, while “Baby’s In The Mood” channels his inner Zevon, “You Got Me” is pure old time rock ‘n roll, and “KAKE’N’8IT” is as much fun as the title would suggest. But it’s the opening title track, with its warmth, chord changes and a hook that won’t quit, which steals the show! What more could one want??
Ever since I saw this young Edinburgh-based trio play IPO Liverpool a few years ago, I’ve believed that they had a shot to break it big, as their vocals, musicianship and attitude just scream out “success!” Their overall sound is a bit harder-edged than I’m accustomed to writing about, but those harmonies…kinda like a supercharged Status Quo without the boogie! Tracks like “BB22”, “Sweet Spot” and “Professional Noise” are exemplars, but the boys can do ballads with the best of them; “Golden Love,” with its America-esque harmonies and the epic “Morning Sun”, on which you can hear a pin drop in the first part, are top shelf…but “Sea Of Cortez” outshines even those, as its counterpoint-laden refrain is one of the best I’ve heard in quite awhile!
The co-founder of the iconic L.A. band, Baby Lemonade, and guitarist for the legendary Love has released his first disc in many of a year, and this 7-song EP is a fine mix of rich, beautiful tunes such as “How Do I Get Close?”, “Miss Loucifer”, and “Twenty Years”, playful soft rockers like “You Let Me Down” and “Moana’s Town”, and the power pop “REVO”. Fans of Wondermints and Baby Lemonade will especially love this, as it’s redolent with cool chord changes and hooks. I very much look forward to Vol. 2!
Yes, you know the names: Kimberley Rew of The Soft Boys and Katrina and The Waves, and Lee Cave-Berry, who has logged more gigs than a turbo-powered computer. This collection features both solo tracks and those by this dynamic duo, and it’s a fun, organic listen throughout. Fans of Dave Edmunds will love “The Dog Song”, “English Road” and “Yours Truly”, among others, while the late ‘70s discofied “Happy Anniversary” could have fit on Back To The Egg; “Flat Cat” is pure rockabilly goodness, and “She’s Still Got It” is a ska delight. There are also a few jangleholic tracks from Rew’s classic EP, The Bible Of Bop; throw in a nifty cover of The Troggs’ “I Want You”, and you’ll be well hooked on this disc. Among the luminaries playing on these tracks are Mitch Easter, Peter Holsapple, Glenn Tilbrook, and Rew’s Soft Boys mates, Robyn Hitchock and Andy Metcalfe!
Ms. Goffin’s 10th album is a return to her Laurel Canyon roots, albeit with a modern touch; its cover art, drawn by her former Laurel neighbor, Joni Mitchell, is quite fitting. Two Different Movies definitely has that mellow, homemade vibe, at times not unlike her mom’s landmark, Tapestry. The opening cut, “Simple Life”, appropriately takes the listener back to a simpler, post ‘60s wind down; “Heart Attack” is a sexy, soulful rocker; “Oh My God”, arranged by Van Dyke Parks, has a lush, dizzying arrangement not unlike Parks’ Song Cycle; “Every Love Song” will coax you to dance without being obvious about it; and “It Started A Long Time Ago” channels Nilsson at times. A fine, diverse album with an array of fine feathered friends accompanying Goffin, such as Benmont Tench, Pete Thomas, the aforementioned Parks, and the Zelig of Pop, Fernando Perdomo!
Cheers, until next time,