pop Archive

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

New Music Review Roundup, Part 1

I’ve got lots of new music to tell you about. Eighteen albums in all, which I’ll cover over three days. Let’s get started. The Brigadier – Wash Away the Day Imagine a hybrid of mid-sixties Brian Wilson, the Raspberries, Brill Building girl group pop (sung by a guy) and the Rubinoos. Now add a dash

Jonathan Coulton Bucks the Industry, Still Makes Traditional Albums

Brooklynite Jonathan Coulton has been making albums for years without becoming a household name, but he made news in 2011 when he told an NPR interviewer that he was making more than half a million dollars a year from his music. Operating completely outside the traditional musical industry, Coulton nonetheless makes highly tuneful, accessible pop

Album Mini-review: Heather Trost — Agistri

File next to: Beach House, Françoise Hardy There’s a cinematic sweep to the song cycle that is Heather Trost’s Agistri. Drawing from wildly diverse stylistic inspirations, this collection of eight Trost originals is at once more interesting and accessible than her work with Neutral Milk Hotel. A deeply reverberated ambiance that recalls Beach House serves

Album Mini-review: Screamfeeder — Pop Guilt

File next to: Belly, Hoodoo Gurus While the name of this Australian quartet might suggest something bratty and noisy, the truth lies elsewhere. Screamfeeder is an endlessly inventive purveyor of chiming, memorable pop rock. With its self-knowing title, Pop Guilt is a collection of hook-laded gems that are far more sophisticated and ambitious than might

Album Mini-review: Chris Price — Stop Talking

File next to: Jellyfish, Wings After spending his time on production duties for obscure-yet-revered artists like Emitt Rhodes and Linda Perhacs, Chris Price has finally refocused his attention on his own music. Stop Talking is a fully realized album that – like the often mercurial artists he shepherds through the studio experience – is rightly

Album Review: Jonathan Coulton — Solid State

File next to: Sufjan Stevens, Fountains of Wayne, The Might Be Giants Jonathan Coulton’s career is something of a paradox: he’s far from being a household name; he’s never had a charting hit single. Yet he made more than a half million dollars from his songwriting in a single year. Coulton has cracked the code

Album Review: Stephanie Morgan — Chrysalism

Stephaniesid, the former group of prodigiously talented singer Stephanie Morgan, had a kind of arty pop sound with the added interest of a strong jazz sensibility. Since the end of that project, Morgan has ventured out on her own, and, while Chrysalism should please longtime fans of her old band, it represents a decisive break from