pop Archive

Hundred-word Reviews: September 2017

Time for some more hundred-word reviews; new music from many different genres. Linsey Alexander – Two Cats (Delmark) A lot of modern-day blues has a sterility that makes it the sonic equivalent of a museum display: too perfect, too slick, soulless. Linsey Alexander is having none of that on Two Cats. The 75-year old blues

Album Review: Various Artists — Songs, Bond Songs

Andrew Curry‘s label has released an impressive clutch of tribute-type albums, including ones focusing on 80s pop, “lite rock” and so on. For the most part, the artists involved tend to fall at least loosely into the power pop subgenre. Curry Cuts’ latest project is Songs, Bond Songs. And as the title (and wonderfully clever

Album Review: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo — Mozartistic

At its best, kid-hop is a family friendly version of hip-hop, with lyrics full of universal appeal. Because while not everyone can identify with slice-of-life reality depicted in some rap and hip-hop, everyone has been a kid. Many still are. And at its best, kid-hop takes the form of the music made by sometime Asheville

Jimmy Webb: A Consummate Tale-spinner (Part 4 / Conclusion)

Continued from Part Three… Over the years, several recording artists have chosen to record entire albums of nothing but Jimmy Webb songs. Johnny Rivers was the first to do so, on his 1967 album Rewind. Also in 1967, The 5th Dimension recorded 16 Webb originals, spread across two albums. The following year, Irish actor-turned-singer Richard

Jimmy Webb: A Consummate Tale-Spinner (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two… Webb thinks he knows why the songs-and-stories format works well for artists who have been around awhile. “It becomes easier with age,” he says. “I remember being in my teens and twenties and performing, and having absolutely nothing to say. Because [at that age] you don’t have much in your head.

Jimmy Webb: A Consummate Tale-spinner (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… “It’s an enviable position to be in,” Webb says, “when you have an artist coming to you – like Mr. [Frank] Sinatra – saying, ‘I need a song for my next album.’” Ol’ Blue Eyes recorded at least three Webb songs, including “Didn’t We” and “Whatever Happened to Christmas.” The latter

Jimmy Webb: A Consummate Tale-spinner (Part One)

Jimmy Webb is a pop music treasure. Viewed in terms of numbers and statistics, he’s among the most successful songwriters of all time. His songs have been recorded by more than 850 artists (more than 80 recorded covers of his 1967 composition “MacArthur Park”). His songs have hit the American Top 100 more than 30

Album Review: BJ Leiderman — BJ

You know that Morning Edition theme on National Public Radio? BJ Leiderman wrote that, and a lot more for NPR besides. Understandably wanting to trade on those achievements, the 61-year old musician-composer planned to title his debut album Natural Public Leiderman (get it?) but apparently cooler – or more litigation-focused – minds prevailed, and after

New Music Review Roundup, Part 3

Today I wrap up three days’ worth of reviews of new music. Dig if you will. The Pollyseeds – Sounds of Crenshaw, Vol. 1 As far as I know, none of the music on Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1 is used on the soundtrack of the Amazon Original series Bosch, but – like that crime

New Music Review Roundup, Part 2

Here’s the second of three collections of reviews. The Hangabouts – Kits & Cats and Saxon Wives Good-timing, cleverly-written melodic pop is what’s on offer on the latest album from the Hangabouts. It rocks a bit harder than their last outing, and there are hints of some of the more adventurous end of early 70s