…Tomorrow! Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah! And next week and the week after, too. We’ll be adding new, recent and heritage music to the Pure Pop Radio playlist on a regular basis from now on, so check back here frequently and help us keep the melodic pop spirit alive by listening to Pure Pop Radio (simply click on the handy listen links below)!
So what’s on the new-to-the-playlist docket? Today, we’re going to put the spotlight on three major melodic pop releases. You’ve probably been waiting for the first for awhile…
Linus of Hollywood – Something Good. Fifteen years ago, a voice ushered in a new sound–a fresh, clean approach to the melodic pop song. “A-one, two three…one…” The mellow, hopeful voice quickly trailed off into the fabric of “Say Hello to Another Goodbye,” the first track of an album called Your Favorite Record. That was pretty cheeky of the new artist named Linus of Hollywood. What if this album wasn’t our favorite record? Linus was rolling the dice, but not without an ace in his pocket–an album that was his entree into a career that has been going strong ever since. Linus is all about the song, all about the melody, all about the harmonies, and absolutely without question about how all of that, tied up with a neat little bow, affects his listeners. Just as they swooned as the 12 songs on Your Favorite Record played out, they will swoon, dip, nod their heads, get weak in their knees and most importantly smile, smile, smile as the 11 songs on this brand-new album surround them with the kind of mostly upbeat melodic pop that has become Linus’s trademark. You will love songs like “Ready for Something Good,” a classic, clever, catchy mix of faux-reggae and barreling-straight-ahead sweet pop; and “Biography,” an intoxicating, melodic, acoustic-based cautionary tale of separation–of love dying for no good reason. “No one will ever love you, the way I used to love you,” Linus sings as ghostly backing vocals chill the air. Don’t miss the cover of the year: Linus’s fantastic version of Kiss’s “Beth,” which Linus now owns. Factor in a great-as-usual guest vocal performance from the luminous Kelly Jones, a co-write with pop music producer Wyatt Funderburk and sterling production and you have what may well have to be renamed Another of Your Favorite Records, or Maybe Even the Record of the Year in 2014. We’ve added 10 of the songs on Something Good to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Tune in now to hear them playing in rotation. Welcome back, Linus of Hollywood. We really missed you.
Edward O’Connell – Vanishing Act. We’re thinking that this may well be the year where we will have to, for the very first time, compile a list of favorite melodic pop records–the reason being that there are just so many of them and, well, that’s what we probably should have been doing all along. And near the top of that list will have to sit Vanishing Act, the followup to 2010’s Our Little Secret, a pretty nifty record that started it all, “it all” being the thirst for more Edward O’Connell music. Consider your thirst satisfied. Vanishing Act is everything a great melodic pop album should be and then some. The straight-ahead popper “Severance Kiss,” jangly guitars in the spotlight, is an instant classic with an equally classic melody. Sumptuous slide guitar lines kick off the hooky opener “My Dumb Luck.” The lovely ballad and title track, “Vanishing Act,” serves as the album’s centerpiece. O’Connell’s wondrous vocal is a joy to hear. Really, here is another hall-of-fame kind of album, one that will stay with you all the way down whichever line you walk. O’Connell, a Washington, D.C. songwriter and performer, is a local, should-be national, treasure. And his sense of humor is sharp and tickles the funny bone–the paper bag gag from Our Little Secret is carried over to a photo inside the new album’s package. We’ve added the whole of Vanishing Act, which is now playing in rotation on our air. You rock, Edward O’Connell. And, as ABBA once sang, “Thank you for the music!”
The Click Beetles – Wake Up to Music! The cleverly-named Click Beetles emerge with a powerhouse debut that melodic pop and power pop fans will happily devour. Head Beetle Dan Pavelich, who also runs Vandalay Records and writes and draws the funny, online comic strip Just Say Uncle, is right on target with 10 originals (one co-written with the wonderful singer-songwriter Lisa Mychols) and two delectable covers, nicely done: Marshall Crenshaw’s classic “Cynical Girl” and the Beatles standard “Do You Want to Know a Secret.” “Try Girl” is a Merseybeat-styled medium-paced ballad that, if you close your eyes, could have been performed on the stage of the original Cavern in Liverpool. “I Never Said Goodbye,” the aforementioned co-write with Mychols, is a melodic stomper with an ultra-catchy chorus. “Glad” is a great pop song that would be comfortable nestled in the Shoes catalog. All of these tunes, plus the glorious “Bubblegum” and the short-but-sweet closer “The Changes,” are now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. Dig these wonderful sounds!
There you go! That’s three more top-shelf albums now gracing our airwaves and feeding into your Internet radio machines. Enjoy ’em all, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow for our final new-adds-to-the-Pure-Pop-Radio-playlist report.