pop Archive

Album Review: Semisonic — Feeling Strangely Fine (20th Aniv. Edition)

Certain music becomes an exemplar of the time in which it was made and released. If the artist involved is lucky, that music not only evokes memories of that period, but also withstands the test of time. To qualify for the latter, the music must somehow avoid at least some of the trappings of its

Album Review: Todd Warner Moore — Spark

When an album of music opens with a spoken-word prologue, it positions itself as, well, a certain kind of album. And Todd Warner Moore’s Spark starts just that way, hipping new listeners to the fact that this is likely to be a somewhat literate, story-based collection of songs. And that’s about right. There’s a strong

Hundred-word Reviews, December 2018

This will almost certainly be my last roundup of new releases – capsule review style – for 2018. Lots of great music came out this year; don’t let anyone tell you differently. As always, each of these albums deserves more coverage than I’m able to give here, and each warrants a spin (at least) by

Album Review: Daydream Creatures — Qalupalik

Look online for details about Daydream Creatures and you may come away with the impression that the female-fronted group plays high-energy rock ‘n’ roll. With performance photos featuring three of its members – Loren Carty, Jessica Korn and Brooke Randle – out front in matching mini-dresses and clutching electric instruments, it’s easy to make such

Album Review: Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio – It’s Time

If you’re the sort of music listener who thinks you don’t like jazz but you do dig Steely Dan, then It’s Time may be the ticket. Featuring the vocals of Rose Ann Dimalanta – formerly a member of Prince’s band – is sleek, sexy and soulful. A slick (but not too slick) and urbane vibe

The Mommyheads: Chill About Everything … Except Global Warming

Sweden has made important contributions to music. Stockholm-based 1970s pop juggernaut ABBA is so revered at home that the band has its own museum. So when Swedish fans take a strong interest in an American group, the rest of the world should pay attention. NYC-based indie pop group the Mommyheads released five albums between 1989

Album Review: Peter Senior — On the Edge

There’s a gospel feel informing “Little Lovin’,” the opening track of Sydney-based pop-rocker Peter Senior’s On the Edge. The uptempo tune has an arrangement vaguely reminiscent of Billy Joel’s forays into rock, but – unlike Joel – Senior seems quite comfortable in the vintage-flavored rock idiom. The chord progressions are warmly familiar, and the brass

Hundred-word Reviews, November 2018 Part 1

More hundred-word reviews. If you’ve wandered in here before, you know the drill: they’re all worthwhile and deserve deeper coverage. These ten are all archival, reissue or compilation releases. Oakland Elementary School Arkestra – The Saga of Padani Let’s begin by acknowledging that this disc isn’t for all tastes. Imagine the Residents meeting Sun Ra,

Notable Vinyl Releases, Part Two

Today’s three are all new, indie releases. David Duchovny – Every Third Thought A confession, right up front: when this album landed on my desk, my first thought was, “Uh-oh. Another vanity project from an actor who maybe played some guitar back in college.” A bit of belated investigation demonstrated that my attitude was wholly

Todd Rundgren’s ‘No World Order” at 25

Todd Rundgren has long made a career out of alternatively (and sometimes simultaneously) confounding and delighting his most ardent fans. Resolutely following his muse wherever it takes him, Rundgren is remarkably unbound from commercial considerations; he makes the music he wants to make, how and when he chooses. The result is a body of work