Day three of Pure Pop Radio’s Springtime New Music Explosion is here, and it’s another day to savor. It’s a special day, with a special record to talk about, from Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones. Alan’s review follows; more reviews of music added to our playlist will follow tomorrow.
Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones
The release of a new Kelly Jones recording is cause for celebration all by itself. When you find that Teddy Thompson, son of famed singer-songwriters Richard and Linda Thompson, is her performing and writing partner, and singer-songwriter Bill DeMain, a favorite at Pure Pop Radio, has co-written all of the songs, the level of anticipation you experience even before the first note comes out of the speakers is exponentially high.
The rewards you get from experiencing these lovely songs, crafted with care and heart, are many and deeply felt. There is a lot of love in these grooves, and we are playing all of them in rotation.
The sound of this record is pleasingly retro, if retro, at its core, means classically-styled melodies and deep hooks contained within songs that conduct their business and clear the decks for the next numbers. There is a decidedly romantic notion at play on a long player that slips in and out of hand holding echoes of the Everly Brothers at Cadence, Roy Orbison, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, Buck Owens and a thousand other country-pop artists and their golden recordings.
You can feel the connection that Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones have to these songs and, as performers, to each other. Their vocals, silky smooth and in love with every note, sail on through almost, but not quite, effortlessly, but because you know that making music come alive takes commitment and precious time, effortless is not quite the right word. It only seems that way, and, of course, it really isn’t.
Each song here is a treasure, best experienced with total attention paid. This is an emotional record–a record you feel in your bones, that rattles each one in a pleasing way. The playful shuffle of “You Can’t Call Me Baby” tells its tale with precious economy, keeping the beat going with a pounding bass line and kitchen sink drums. “I Thought that We Said Goodbye,” about a couple that just can’t break their bond, is a lovely song that marries Teddy and Kelly’s gorgeous harmony vocals to some nimble, committed acoustic guitar picking. “Wondering” tells the tale of that little twinge that suggests a romantic pairing against a lively four on the floor beat.
Perhaps the quintessential song on Little Windows is “You Took My Future,” a tearjerker of a ballad that chronicles the end of a love affair, at which point all that is left are the memories that anchor the past. Perched atop acoustic guitar accompaniment, the song breathes relentlessly; you can practically feel the air flowing around the vocals. Fittingly, the song closes the album, leaving you wanting more…leaving you wanting to know what happens next.
Produced by Mike Viola, and executive produced by Linda Thompson, Little Windows is like a bright lighthouse shining in the sea, drawing you in. These are songs that stay with you, that continue to resonate inside your soul after they have played–the ones that mean the most. The beating of hearts that is clearly evident as they play is as true as true can be. These songs do not ever wear out their welcome; the record, in fact, isn’t even 24 minutes long. It is just as long as it should be. It is perfect, and we are blessed to be its audience.
– Alan Haber
(Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: All of the songs on Little Windows: “I Never Knew You Loved Me Too,” “Make a Wish on Me,” “Better at Lying,” “Wondering,” “I Thought that We Said Goodbye,” “Don’t Remind Me,” “As You Were,” “Only Fooling,” “You Can’t Call Me Baby,” and “You Took My Future”)
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