pop Archive

Album Review: Fovea — Pencil Me In

The blippy synth lines that open “Boss Boy” suggest that Fovea’s Pencil Me In is going to be a synthpop album. But not; that impression is corrected after about, oh, three seconds. A gauzy wash of squalling guitars crashes over the synth. Okay, so it’s a shoegaze record, right? Wrong. The guitars recede, leaving behind

Album Review: Staring Into Nothing – Power

Pop-leaning, dramatic progressive rock is the order of the day on Power. Staring Into Nothing is merely a trio, but they manage a big sound. The three musicians – vocalists/keyboardist Steve Rogers, guitarist Savannah Rogers and bassist Kurt Barabas – clearly have ambitious plans in place. Power is the first in what looks ot be

Like, Fun: They Might Be Giants

Note: an edited version of this feature ran in Brooklyn Paper; the story was written to preview January shows in the NYC borough. Released on January 19, I Like Fun is the 20th studio album from clever Brooklyn-based rock band They Might Be Giants. Co-leader John Flansburgh says that for many years the group’s touring

2017’s Top Ten You Might Not Have Heard/Heard Of

My brow furrows a bit when I read “Best of” lists published in November or early December; are December releases set aside for consideration in the following year? Or are they ignored? A look at albums released in the last month of 1967, for example, includes Jimi Hendrix’s Axis: Bold as Love, Traffic’s Mr. Fantasy,

Album Review: Jason Vitelli — Head Above Tide

Vitelli’s crystalline, classically-inflected piano style and clear voice give the music on Head Above Tide a regal, refined feel that may remind some of Neal Morse-era Spock’s Beard crossed with early Billy Joel. There’s a deliberately dry production aesthetic to the songs that conveys a kind of immediacy; listeners will feel as if they’re right

Hundred Word Reviews for January 2018, Part 2

As promised, here are ten more capsule reviews of new music. The Sherlocks – Live for the Moment In an era many define as “post-rock,” it’s refreshing to discover a band that makes high energy, melodic rock that maneuvers the narrow bath between the faux fist-pumping of arena rock and the often slavish and mannered

A look back at Love’s ‘Forever Changes’

This article appeared originally on BestClassicBands. From the release of Love’s March 1966 debut single, “My Little Red Book” b/w “A Message to Pretty,” it was clear the Los Angeles Group was a breed apart from its contemporaries. The group – led by Arthur Lee – built much of its music upon a snarling, sneering

Boxed Set Review: Isaac Hayes — The Spirit of Memphis

Isaac Hayes was the man. Certainly, he developed an outsized public persona, with his bare chest, furry boots, wide-brimmed hat, chains and gold-played Cadillac (though not all at the same time), and that persona was as cocksure and swaggering as the description suggests. But the thing is, he earned it. From his days as a

Hundred-word Reviews for December 2017: New Music

As the end of 2017 approaches, it’s time to clear out some of the backlog on my review shelf. Here are ten titles, all new music, that I think might be worth your time. For the sake of brevity (not to mention expediency), each review is kept here to 100 words. Ella Atlas – The

Sidney Barnes: A Preview

Note: I recently conducted a wide-ranging and lively interview with Sidney Barnes; the result of that is an in-depth feature running soon in Record Collector Magazine. In the meantime, this shorter feature will whet your appetite. — bk Born in a West Virginia mining town, Sidney Barnes eventually moved with his family to New York