pop Archive

Album Review: Holy Hive — Float Back to You

Combine crystalline, upper register vocals with a musical aesthetic that’s part Philly Soul, parts indie rock and relentlessly melodic, and the result – if it’s lucky – might sound a bit like Holy Hive. This Brooklyn-based trio has its roots in the music of folk singer Paul Spring, but the indelible, shimmering pop values of

One Good Reason: Alan Parsons on the ‘Ammonia Avenue’ Boxed Set … and More (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … Bill Kopp: Back in the ’70s and the early ’80s, did Arista Records ever put pressure on you to assemble a live band? Alan Parsons: No, I don’t think so. They knew my identity was in the studio, and that’s what I was. I was a producer and engineer, and

One Good Reason: Alan Parsons on the ‘Ammonia Avenue’ Boxed Set … and More (Part One)

Alan Parsons is a unique figure in popular music; very few people go from working as a recording engineer and producer to becoming an artist in their own right. After working behind the scenes with the Beatles and Pink Floyd, Parsons formed his own Project (not, he explains, a group). Between 1976 and 1987, the

Album Review: Juniper Shelley — Juniper

I should admit right up front that I look with skepticism upon an album featuring a 15-year-old girl. It’s simply that I don’t expect the music to be aimed at (nor of any great appeal to) the particular demographic to which I belong. “Yeah, well, buddy, that’d be your loss,” the universe seems to tell

Guitarist Laurence Juber Connects the Dots Between Classical, Folk and the Beatles

Laurence Juber was already an accomplished and in-demand session musician before he got the call to join Paul McCartney’s band, Wings. And although he was a member of the group for a comparatively short period – from 1978 until the band’s dissolution in 1981 – the influence of the former Beatle would loom large in

Album Review: Lane Thaw — Falling off the Planet

Existing outside the world of rock ‘n’ roll, Lane Thaw’s Falling off the Planet is the kind of record that suggests an alternate timeline, one in which cult artists like Leon Redbone and Randy Newman hit the big time. With a large ensemble that includes violin, viola, marimba, lap steel, banjo, ukulele and flugelhorn alongside

Album Review: The Explorers Club — s/t

In my previous review I, um, explored To Sing and Be Born Again, the new all-covers album from Jason Brewer’s The Explorers Club. The group isn’t exactly what one would call prolific, having maintained a consistent pace of a new album every four years since 2008’s Freedom Wind. But as 2020 has come around, the

Album Review: The Explorers Club — To Sing and Be Born Again

For more than a decade now, The Explorers Club have been bringing their brand of ear candy pop to listeners. Essentially a vehicle for songwriter, musician, arranger and producer Jason Brewer, the EC’s lineup has been fluid. Originally a band based in Charleston, today The Explorers Club is the creative product of Brewer and whomever

Album Review: The Corner Laughers — Temescal Telegraph

Based in Redwood City, The Corner Laughers craft a brand of pop that’s sophisticated, clever, erudite and memorable – one that follows in the proud tradition of great songwriting artists like Carole King and Paul McCartney. Across the group’s several singles, EPs and albums, a love of wordplay combines with subject matter beyond the simple

Album Review: Andrew Gold — Something New: Unreleased Gold

Andrew Gold’s name has been circulating quite a bit of late, at least in music nerd circles. And that’s pretty remarkable considering that he passed away just about nine years ago. The first instance of his name popping up on my radar screen was around the time that Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice