Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio

Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio is the archive for the premiere website that covered the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features. We are now closed for new activity.

New on Pure Pop Radio 7.8.16

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Spins and Reviews | July 8, 2016 | by Alan Haber

Melodic pop shines in today’s listing…

vanilla - sweet shopVanilla | “Sweet Shop” Gather round, kids, for another game of guess what Jayson’s on about, dressed up this time in catchy minor-to-major-key-and-back-again Beatlesque romping clothes adorned with backward cymbal; strangled, wah-wah-dipped lead guitar, and a “Hey Jude”-type playout that encourages head swaying to and fro. And listening to the lyrics.

As written by Mr. Jarmon and Tube Top’s Gavin Guss, who trade lead vocals like heavy-hitter baseball cards under the hot, sweaty summer sun, “Sweet Shop” is about, well, the pull and wrongful acceptance of addiction on the part of people who just don’t get it. Imagine, as the lyrics do, the Sheik of Araby exuding heightened sensitivity while he shops to fulfill his needs, or euphoria experienced as high-toned “fireworks” explode above.

In the song, Jayson and Gavin give the addicted some advice–an out, of sorts: “One day your tooth decay is gonna keep you up all night/‘Til the morning comes and finds you craving more,” they sing, but it’s advice easier said than followed by those for whom said advice is intended.

The good thing about this vivid, clever, really incredible creation, out today, that will be part of Vanilla’s upcoming Mystik Nights of Takoma album is that you can bop to the beat of this sweet musical pop treat as you take in the words Jayson and Gavin have written and see beyond the surface. This is a spectacular song. And now, on to the next number…
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

erik voeks greyErik Voeks | “Grey Rain Town” and “Delivering Rocks” Two more entries in the ongoing monthly pour of a- and b-sides from this heritage popster, pairing a dense, surprising, supremely satisfying mini-suite (“Grey Rain Town”) with an easygoing, beguiling pop song blessed with an infectious melody (“Delivering Rocks”). Top-notch.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

the junipers red bouquet fairThe Junipers | Red Bouquet Fair Summer’s all the sweeter with this charming collection from the Leicester, United Kingdom band in the mix. Recalling the sweet sunshine pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s in such lovely songs as “Summer Queen” and “Like a Merry-Go-Round,” Red Bouquet Fair is no less than the audio equivalent of smiling at your good fortune on a warm day in the park while sipping cool lemonade. The vocals are enchanting and the instrumentation is perfectly played.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Follow Loretta,” “Esmeranda,” “Here Come the Winds,” “Like a Merry-Go-Round,” “Summer Queen,” “Say Goodbye,” and “The Old Man Mini Suite.”

peter lacey new way lanePeter Lacey | New Way Lane Long loved for celebrating, within his songs, the sound of Brian Wilson, Lacey’s latest is a general celebration of the joys of pure melodic pop music. “Old Fashioned Cafe” is a celebration of old-fashioned pleasures, a ukelele-fueled look back. “Better Make Tracks,” a lively number, is gleefully rooted in the sound of the ’90s (except for the equally gleeful, nearly a cappella bridge). Extra points for intoning the name of the Portastudio recorder. Single “Jonny and the Aspirations,” a soulful rocker story song, may be the best, most dynamic recording Peter has done to date. Another hit and pick-to-click for this British wonder.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Bella Donna,” “So Long Brother Jon,” “Old Fashioned Cafe,” “Better Make Tracks,” “Star in Your Own Show,” “New Way Lane,” “Laundro Matt,” and “Jonny and the Aspirations.”

More new music reviews coming next week!

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