powerpop Archive

Musoscribe’s Best of 2019: New Music

Today’s Christmas. Whether you observe the religious traditions of the holiday or not, Quit reading this and go spend time with loved ones! Okay, before you go, a very brief post. There were some great albums released this year as well. Some of my favorites include: Watermelon Slim – Church of the Blues Luther Russell

Hundred-word Reviews for December 2019, #3

Here’s the final installment of the year (and the decade!) of my quick, condensed album reviews. Ten titles, 100 words each. Seven are new releases; the remaining three are archival and/or reissue releases. There are some SERIOUS gems in here. Sweet Lizzy Project – Technicolor When most people think of Cuban music, their thoughts turn

Hundred-word Reviews for December 2019, #2

With the end of 2019 on the horizon, I figure now’s as good a time as any to bring things up to date with another batch of quick reviews. In this edition: all new music, ten titles. Blues, powerpop, jazz and more. All worth your time. Maybe even a Great Gift Idea™. Happy holidays! Coco

Gonna Raise Hell: Cheap Trick’s ‘Dream Police’ at 40

Though they had released three excellent albums to date, in 1978 Cheap Trick was still laboring in relative obscurity. The Rockford, Illinois band’s releases – 1977’s self-titled debut, In Color from later that same year and 1978’s Heaven Tonight – had each sold better than the last, but none cracked the top 40 album charts.

Album Review: Big Star — In Space

To those who followed Alex Chilton’s musical activities in the 1980s and beyond, the thought that he would ever revisit his Big Star-era music – much less put the band back together – seemed extraordinarily unlikely. So when it finally happened, with original drummer Jody Stephens plus the Posies (Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow), it

Single Review: The Embryos — Singles Club Volume 2

I was already predisposed toward liking this 45 before I heard it; The Embryos’ Open the Kimono (reviewed a few months back) is an instantly likable collection of chiming, catchy pop-rock. “Popular Character” has shades of Raspberries, Pilot and Matthew Sweet. So yeah, it falls loosely into the popwerpop subcategory. But if that’s not your

Album Review: International Pop Overthrow Volume 22

Now comes the 22nd volume in a long-running series of compilations chronicling the current state of powerpop. If this set is Exhibit A, the evidence is strong that it’s in fine shape. Right out of the gate, this new collection fires on all cylinders: the first seven tracks are all powerpop gems of the highest

Hundred-word Reviews for September 2019, Part 2

More capsule reviews! New music! Vinyl titles are noted with the designation (LP). Fastball – The Help Machine If you’re a certain age, you remember “The Way.” If you were especially sharp in those days, you might know the even better “You’re an Ocean.” Fastball’s approach struck me as a kind of American answer to

Hundred-word Reviews for September 2019, Part 1

Once again, it’s time for a passel of quick reviews. Twenty in all – ten today, as many tomorrow. All deserve a listen. Titles on vinyl are noted as such (LP). Waiting for Henry – The Gospel of Moby Grape As a serious fan of the star-crossed band name-checked in the title, I had to

Hundred-word Reviews for August 2019, Part Three (Archival)

Time for a look at ten new albums featuring reissued, compilation and/or archival material. Rock, jazz and beyond. Collect ’em all, kids! Soul Asylum – While You Were Out / Clam Dip & Other Delights Minneapolis’ Soul Asylum labored in relative obscurity for quite awhile before their national breakout. They became a household name with