“These are the words you wish you could hear,” Jules Shear sings in his current release, the quite catchy pop song called “The Words,” and these are the words we are happy to pass on to you; we love you, and it’s because of that love that we bring to you news of new music that’s been added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist.
We’ve got only a smattering today as so many big projects destined for your ears are in the works and just about ready to pop out of the oven, but there is more, much more to come, all of it crafted with precision and with an eye on precise symmetry, and that’s all just around the corner, and of that we are confident and sure.
Today, we present to you the following, all now playing in rotation on the air, one after the other (but not in any kind of formal formation):
Jules Shear | “The Words” After having written a string of classic songs over so many decades, a string which ties together “All Through the Night,” “If She Knew What She Wants,” “If We Never Meet Again,” “The Trap Door” and so many others of such tall stature, this peerless songwriter and performer has begun releasing new material, some of which he says he will give away and some which he says he will sell. “The Words” is a giveaway, thank you very much, and rather a nice, warm gesture, essentially a three-chord construct with a knockout chorus that essentially functions as a master class in songwriting, so skillful it is with such a grand, satisfying payoff. A lyrical pedal steel part is icing on a very tasty cake, which we’re serving in rotation.
Dana Countryman | Pop 3! Welcome to My Time Warp! Words are kind of our business, but at some times, when the music takes us away to the ubiquitous somewhere else, we can’t see the forest for the trees or choose one thing, whatever it is, over another. In the case of Mr. Countryman’s latest release, the third in his spun-from-gold pop music trilogy, words do not fail us, even though it’s the music that takes us and, of course, you away in the end and after all is sung and done.
This outstanding collection of melodically-charged songs, set squarely in the world governed by all that is retro, actually opens up a portal that you fall into as sounds celebrating the joys of tightly-constructed audio treats take you away. Honestly, it’s like the sounds of the late 1960s and early 1970s are back, baby, and there you are singing along or humming, even if you don’t know the words. Echoes of the Four Seasons and the Spiral Starecase and Gilbert O’Sullivan and the Hollies and Eric Carmen and, yes, the Beatles, of whom much has been said and a lot more could and will be, run through the fabric of these songs that will be with you in the morning when you are buttering your toast and in the evening, just before bedtime, as your head hits the pillow and you drift off.
“Every Kiss Reminds Me of You,” “Run Back Into My Arms,” “Can’t Get You Out of My Mind,” “Nice Shot (Straight to the Heart),” “Don’t You Know You’ll Break My Heart,” “All You Need to Say,” “Twenty-Four Hours with You,” “There Goes My Heart Again,” “Shari Girl / You’ll Always Be a Baby to Me,” “That’s When I Knew,” and “Don’t Wanna Lose You,” pretty much all the bones of this album, are now playing in rotation (we’re saving “Christmas All Over the World” for the upcoming holiday season, and the gorgeous love song “What If?” has been spinning for a while). Do we need to say that Pop 3! is one of the best albums of the year? Well, you know, or you will know, that this statement is true.
Bertling Noise Laboratories | Matilda and 12 Others and “Ram On” You’ve probably heard yourself say, or you’ve at least thought to yourself, the words “Where has he (or she) been all my life?,” and therein lies the thing of it all. This is how we felt, really and truly, when we were turned onto Nick Bertling’s outstanding and astounding album through which all roads lead to you thinking “Now, that really hits the spot” as you spin it again and again, as we have done and will continue to do. “Good Morning” exists as if it were an outtake from McCartney (where else could that traveling, syncopating bass come from?); “Baby Talk” plays like a long lost Motown track from deep in the vaults with all of the excitement and oomph that such a thing entails; “It’s Not Funny” is nothing less than a crooner’s standard (surely some Broadway production will dial this one up); “Time for Us” is straight-ahead pop; and the title song, “Matilda,” is kinda sorta jazzy, like a Steely Dan-meets-not-Steely-Dan mashup, except it’s not really that, but it sure is something else. We’re playing all of these songs, plus “Bits and Pieces,” “I’ll Bet She Thinks,” and “Once in a While.” With this album in your hands, and you know you’ll want it, once in a while will not be enough. Oh, and of “Ram On”…it’s a lovely cover of the aforementioned McCartney fellow’s song from Ram, and it’s fabulously huggable. We’re playing that too, naturally.
Tommy Lorente | “B.B. (Tu Me Plais Tant)” and “Un Certain Savoir Faire” Not being anywhere near fluent in French, although we can count to six and nod like we know what somebody is talking about, we let the words of these songs float around us as the accomplished pop-rocker Tommy Lorente lets loose the three-different-beats-heavy vibe of “B.B. (Tu Me Plais Tant)” (“I Like You So Much”) which, based on the English translation of the lyrics Tommy sent our way, is a love song of sorts with a whole lot of energy that gets one moving from side to side. “Un Certain Savoir Faire,” or “A Certain Savoir Faire,” which is about self-confident people and rocks in a slow, steady kind of way, with stabbing guitars and strong, certain drum hits, is the flip side, or the other A-side, of this top-notch single from one of our favorite performers in this day and age. Both songs are playing in rotation, rocking and popping up the joint, as it were.
Various Artists | Lost Hits of the 80’s Dan Pavelich, music critic at the Kenosha (Wisconsin) News and creator of the sweet comic strip Just Say Uncle, has quietly been producing great music for so many years, kind of slipping in under the radar with albums such as this one, a loving trip in the Wayback Machine of the mind to the 1980s, as performed by a bunch of fictitious bands that exist only in Dan’s mind–bands like Atari Hand Cramp, Pest Control, and Asmatics UK (named that way to avoid confusion with Asmatics Canada, no doubt). Working with some top-flight collaborators–Pop 4’s Andrea Perry, Lisa Mychols and the Well Wishers’ Jeff Shelton among them–Dan turns in a fabulously fun trip. The songs range from Redd Roxx’s poppy “No Regret,” sung by the Waking Hours’ Tom Richards, to the steady, rocking “Camera Shy” by The Vaporizers, and The Images’ slowed down, impassioned take on the Romantics’ “Talking in Your Sleep.” Dan says he had a ball producing this record, from which we’ve slotted the aforementioned songs, and a couple of others–Asmatics UK’s “Temptress of London,” Metro Cafe’s “Am I Only Dreaming of You,” and The Images’ “Don’t Want Pretending”–into our playlist. We’ll have a Q&A feature soon, in which Dan will spill all of the inner secrets of this album, but for now, listen for a stone cold trip back to the decade that still, and always will, pop and rock. Loads of fun.
That’s it for today. Believe us, we’ve barely scratched the surface. We’ve added to the playlist hundreds of new and new-to-you songs from current and heritage artists over the past few weeks. We’ll continue to report on these adds and others we have waiting in the wings, during the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned. You will undoubtedly dig our continually diggable scene.
Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.
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