Album Mini-review: Buttercup — Battle of Flowers
File next to: Sugar, Crowded House
With a name like Buttercup – not to mention album art scattered with flowers – one might expect Battle of Flowers to be a collection of winsome, treacly pop. Alas, no: slashing electric guitars abound here. The melodies are rooted in pop convention, and every song has a strong hook, and there’s an anthemic quality to some of the group’s songwriting. Clever arrangement details are employed: “Gud Girls” shifts between minimalist, almost all-vocals sections and a twitchy, new wave rave. Shade and light is a big part of the Buttercup approach: one moment “How to Think More About Sex” finds the singer shouting aggressively about wanting a tender touch; the next, a vocal chorus plaintively asks “why don’t you love me any more?” The group’s sense of humor comes through on “Open On/Shut Off,” which conjures thoughts of Stewart (Police) Copeland’s Klark Kent persona.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.