Spins and Reviews | 05.10.17
By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio
The Blood Rush Hour | Who Folds First (2017)
This fantastic follow-up to 2014’s miraculous And Then… The Unthinkable Happened is just as wondrous and wide-ranging and crafted with care as has come to be expected from Robert DeStefano’s more-than-reliable outfit.
Encompassing a variety of song styles, all finely wrought melodic microcosms and performed with perfection, Who Folds First brings the hits and a few happy surprises, like the Manhattan Transfer-like, a cappella opening that introduces the Todd Rundgren-esque “No More Excuses.” “He Left the Party (Far Too Soon)” is a merry melange of Steely Dan-y pop and funk, punctuated by Andrew Griffiths’ trombones, trumpets, alto sax, and tenor sax arsenal. And “The Space that We Have Made,” about getting to the heart of the matter, is a triumphant Dan-ish number sung by Pure Pop Radio favorite Christian Phillips, who devised the three-dimensional vocal arrangements with DeStefano.
A contender for best-of lists from all quarters, no doubt.
Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “No More Excuses,” “He Left the Party (Far Too Soon),” “Danny,” “The Space that We Made,” “6, 4, 5 and Sometimes 1,” “New Country,” “Find Another Russian Dancer,” “I’m the One,” “I Still See You,” and “What Does it Take”
Where to Get It: Nicola Records
Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie | “In My World” and “Feel About You” (from the forthcoming album, Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie) (2017)
To nobody’s surprise, the first two songs released in advance of the highly-anticipated, self-titled Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie album sound as if they could have appeared on just about any Fleetwood Mac long player. And in some ways, since both Mick Fleetwood and John McVie appear on this duo roundabout, it seems like it will be a Fleetwood Mac album in all but the name. Bottom line is, this is superior pop music made by two historic, always able practitioners of the art. “In My World” marries a jaunty minor key verse with a typically happy, poppy chorus that puts upper-register echoed vocals up front in the mix. “Feel About You” is a leisurely, McVie-sung charmer, sporting a lovely, harmony-laden chorus that just plain delivers the happy in so many ways. Essential.
Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “In My World” and “Feel About You,” from the forthcoming album, Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie
Where to Get It: Amazon (June 9)
Chuck Berry | “Big Boys” and “Wonderful Woman” (from the forthcoming album, Chuck) (2017)
Nothing has driven aspiring rock ‘n’ rollers to take up that most expressive of instruments, the air guitar, more than the sound of the late, great Chuck Berry, whose body of work will continue to speak for itself into even the unforeseeable future. These two songs, featuring on the upcoming Chuck, ostensibly the master’s final album, continue the Berry tradition of immediately accessible, fanciful, lyrically astute, and simply wonderful tunes; both “Big Boys” and “Wonderful Woman” hit the sweet Berry spot, and then some. Oh, what a thrill.
Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “Big Boys” and “Wonderful Woman,” from the forthcoming album, Chuck
Where to Get It: Amazon (June 9)
Lannie Flowers | “Kiss a Memory” b/w “Everything a Man Could Want” (2017)
Power pop meets sunshine pop meets Texas melodic powerhouse Lannie Flowers for a rip-roaring double-shot, courtesy of Spyderpop Records, that will more than satisfy fans until Lannie’s next full-length release. “Kiss a Memory,” an upbeat bopper with melodic teeth, should ably whip radio playlists into shape. Hanging over into the rock ‘n’ roll side of pop, “Everything a Man Could Want” shakes hands with The Faces and Stones for a beat-driven rave-up par excellence.
Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “Kiss a Memory” and “Everything a Man Could Want”
Where to Get It: Petsche Music Group
Carl Funk | The Heart of a Siren (redux) (2016)
Last November, we added three songs from Carl Funk’s Amerisoulfulcana album, Black Horizon, to our ever-growing playlist. Now, Carl’s powerful vocal and songwriting prowess is on display within our rotation in the form of seven songs from this previous collection, originally released in 1995 and re-released last year with two additional numbers. Expect the same high level of thinking person’s pop from upbeat, should-be-hit-bound “Heartbroken Man” and “It Falls on Me,” and, for that matter, the wide swath of top-flight tunes populating this corner of the Funk universe.
Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “Heartbroken Man,” “Swirl,” “Dreamtime,” “It Falls on Me,” “Fall Together,” “The Party,” and “Take Your Time”
Where to Get It: Bandcamp
The Del Zorros | “Happy Anniversary Baby” (2017)
Monte and Stede Del Zorro pretty much have the romantic musical missive market sewn up; their latest, most welcome number is a ’70s-styled, softly-sung, sweetly-realized notion with a simple, from-the-heart message from one partner to another. Warm and inviting, and humalongable.
Now playing on Pure Pop Radio
Where to Get It: Bandcamp
Also added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist and currently spinning in rotation:
Mod Hippie | Big Wow (2017) | “Up and Away,” Gone All Day,” and “It Ain’t Like that No More” Karma Frog Records Store
Phenomenal Cat | Pop Wasteland (2017) | “Pop Wasteland,” “Motorways,” “The Dancehall,” and “Pacifico (Cowboy Version)” Bandcamp
Colman Gota | Fear the Summer (2017) | “What Goes in My Head,” “For a Reason,” “Call It Quits,” and “Fear the Summer” Kool Kat Musik
Kirk Adams | After Hours (2017) | “Head 4 Sunshine,” “Wrong Side of the Wrecking Ball,” and “Make a Move” Bandcamp
Flora Reed | Settle Down (2002) | “Beloved,” “Flowers at My Feet,” “Happiness Is,” “Mutter,” “Sweetly Said,” and “Who Brought You Down”