Category Archives: New on Pure Pop Radio

Bill Lloyd’s Latest is Another Winning Collection

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alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Bill Lloyd | Don’t Kill the Messenger
(Whole In One, 2020)

The relatively serene composure elucidated in the gentle repose of “The Kiss of the Summer Wind,” a warm musical hug of a song that closes Bill Lloyd’s latest long player, Don’t Kill the Messenger, heralds a change of season and tone. Don’t Kill the Messenger is another winning collection from this classic musician.

With “The Kiss of the Summer Wind,” Lloyd’s calming, melodic salve lowers the temperature drawn by the 11 songs that precede it, that, all told, rock with purpose, powered as they are by a surfeit of hard-charging electric guitars, purposeful and perceptive lyrical conceits, and the usual keen sense of melody. When this longtime favorite Nashvillian sings, we all listen.

An album about the art of communication and what that amounts to in the grand scheme of things, Don’t Kill the Messenger makes otherwise potentially unpalatable situations charted within its songs pay off by suggesting better angels to pursue.

In the hard-charging rocker “I’ve Had Enough of Your Love,” the narrator learns to walk away to lower the temperature on a soured relationship. In the quirky, chunky rocker “KAKA’N’8IT,” a person’s floor caves in as the spoils of war amount to the realization that too much is usually quite enough. And in the sly, winking, four-on-the-floor rocker “You Got Me,” cowritten with legendary producer of the Band, the Cyrkle and Simon and Garfunkel, John Simon, the perfect partner turns out to be less than that.

Lloyd stacks his deck of songs with more winning cowrites, putting pen to paper and pick to guitar strings with a number of longstanding pals, such as David Surface, Prince sideman Dez Dickerson, and Les Bohem, who has played bass for Sparks. Among the guest musicians who help bring these songs to life is Pure Pop Radio favorite Seth Timbs, who plays keyboards on two songs.

On this album’s photo-adorned cover, a sign, placed under a thick, hovering tree just ahead of a weathered white building, advertises a psychic’s tarot card and palm reading services. Depending on your state of mind, you would likely either scoff at this notion and take a nothing-to-see-here approach or wonder what might transpire by entering the building and chatting with the psychic.

Whichever road you choose to travel, playing Bill Lloyd’s latest rock-solid collection of melodic pop and roll is the kiss of the summer wind, not to mention the breeze that blows through the fall, winter and spring. Let it surround you.

Now Playing in Rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Etch-a-Sketch,” “KAKE’N’8IT,” “You Got Me,” and “The Kiss of the Summer Wind”

Where to Get It: billlloydmusic.net store, Amazon, Apple Music

Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premier website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features.

Pure Pop Radio brings the greatest melodic pop music in the universe to your waiting ears, 24 hours a day.

Listen Here for the Latest and Greatest Pure Pop Top Tracks Now Playing in Rotation

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alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

It’s true: We’ve been busy listening to the latest and greatest pure pop top tracks being released by your favorite artists and adding them to our ever-growing playlist.

What’s new on Pure Pop Radio? Now playing in rotation are some massively momentous monster tracks you’re going to love. Who from? Glad you asked! Here are just some of our most recent adds:

Not only have Sal Baglio’s Amplifier Heads released one of the finest melodic pop albums in many a year–Music for Abandoned Amusement Parksthey have quickly followed up with a luscious four-song EP titled Oh Golly Gee, which just happens to be part of the lyric to a lovely ballad called “Late to the Prom.” That song, and two others–“Short Pop Song About a Girl” and the provocatively-titled “Man on the Edge of a Ledge Contemplating a Jump”–are now playing in rotation on our air. More on the Amplifier Heads soon. Close your eyes, listening to “Man on the Edge,” and you’ll think you’re listening to a lost track from the Monkees being sung by Michael Nesmith. Really!

Rosie Abbott, an across-the-ponder who radiates talent at every turn, is releasing a gorgeous song cycle with singer-songwriter roots and baroque tendencies that melodic pop fans will devour with glee. Magnified, a very Kate Bush-y kind of affair, finds Abbott playing and singing everything in a most mesmerizing way. Pure Pop Radio is playing five of Magnified’s songs in rotation: “Alice Died,” “Robin Hood’s Stride,” “I Forget to Breathe,” “The Look in Our Eyes,” and “Erased.” Pure bliss.

The album’s title track:

Greg Pope’s Wishing On a Dark Star is a top-tier long player that is perfect fodder for people hungry for great, catchy melodies performed with gusto. From start to finish, this is top-notch melodic pop; we’re playing six songs in rotation: the glammy “Gone,” “When the Road Began,” “Morning Sunshine,” “Wildest Dreams,” “Jump Back from the Light,” and “Crawling Back to You.” This is Pope’s grand achievement, his best release and a sure thing for this year’s best-of lists.

This coming October 9th would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday; we all miss him terribly, of course. To help with our mutual yearning for his talent and wisdom, Jem Records is releasing a powerful tribute with vital covers of some of Lennon’s best and most-loved creations. Added to our playlist today, we are spinning a total of six tracks from Jem Records Celebrates John Lennon: “The Word” and “What’s the New Mary Jane” (The Weeklings); “You Can’t Do That” (The Grip Weeds); “No Reply” (The Gold Needles); a masterfully meshed take of “Revolution” and “Power to the People” (Richard Barone), and “It Won’t Be Long” (The Midnight Callers). Dig them all, as you should.

Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premier website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features.

Pure Pop Radio brings the greatest melodic pop music in the universe to your waiting ears, 24 hours a day. Be sure to save our branded player to your desktop for quick and easy access.

Newly-Added Tracks Power Your One-Stop Internet Radio Home for the Greatest Melodic Pop Music in the Universe

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alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Weekly adds of new and new-to-you pop music keep our melody-infused engine running at peak power. Why, in just the past few weeks, we’ve made Pure Pop Radio a groovier place to hang out with instant classics from:

The Amplifier Heads, whose new concept album, Music for Abandoned Amusement Parks, raises the stakes for top honors in this year’s best-of crop with a variety of beautifully arranged songs. Here is one of our favorites, now playing in rotation:

Phyllis Johnson, whose groovy (there’s that word again) new song, “Someday,” a chewy slice of bubblegummy sunshine pop, celebrates the sunny feelings of summer with maybe the most infectious and catchy groove in recent memory. Click on the video below for proof:

Timmy Sean, a long-standing Pure Pop Radio favorite, who’s been releasing tremendous, well-crafted and supremely catchy songs from his long-awaited, forthcoming album, A Tale from the Other Side (set to release this November 13). The latest, the poppy triumph “She’s a Monster,” complete with a clever Beach Boys nod, will make you wish that release day for Timmy’s new long-player was a bit more imminent than it actually is.

All of the above are now playing in rotation on our air. Of course, we’ve added more instant classic tracks to our ever-growing playlist, including a powerful, new remix of “All You Ever Wanted,” a song from Ray Paul’s Whimsicality album; a powerful version of the Genesis classic, “Follow You Follow Me,” from The American Professionals, and tracks from Joe Giddings’ upcoming, flavorful collection, Better from Here, being released by Kool Kat Musik. More on all of these tantalizing slices of pop music to come.

Why not tune in to Pure Pop Radio and enjoy your most satisfying mix of melodic pop music on the internet? Simply click on the player below, and don’t forget to save it to your desktop and tablet.

Enjoy!

Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premier website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features.

Pure Pop Radio brings the greatest melodic pop music in the universe to your waiting ears, 24 hours a day.

The Latest! The Greatest! The Hits Keep Spinning on Pure Pop Radio!

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alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

The hits, the future hits, and all of the hits in-between are spinning with glee on Pure Pop Radio. Come join the party and take a listen (click on our player above or below). And dig, if you will, some of our recent adds to our ever-growing playlist, such as the following choice nuggets:

A Pure Pop Radio favorite for all time, Bill DeMain has released a pair of dreamy ballads destined for the Nashville popster’s next album.

“Parastoo” is a gorgeous love song, a minute and 42 seconds long and adorned with only Bill’s sensitive vocal, acoustic guitar and Pat Sansone’s mellotron. A love story about planting the seeds of a relationship, the lyrics prove that to adore takes commitment: “It only takes a smile to fall in love,” Bill sings, “But it takes a lifetime to prove that it’s true.”

Where to Get It: Bandcamp

“Film Noir,” co-written by Bill and Danny Wilson’s Gary Clark, will take you to a smoky jazz club where the torch of love burns and the star of your film noir turns the tables on you and makes her escape (“She played you like a piano, her ticket out of town / And that little taste of sugar / Turned bitter by the day”).  Cello, violin, tenor sax, bass, drums and piano provide the soundtrack to this emotional tale of almost and could-have-been.

Where to Get It: Bandcamp

Both of these destined-to-be-classic songs are now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

Timmy Sean has long been a fixture here on Pure Pop Radio. Remember when we covered his mammoth Songs of the Week project back in 2015? “My Jaded Love” is a new version of a song we first heard back in early 2016; it’s going to appear on Timmy’s forthcoming album, A Tale from the Other Side.

“My Jaded Love” is a mid-tempo pop-rocker with a catchy chorus and a strong vocal, both nothing less than Timmy Sean trademarks. Hear for yourself below (and on our air), and make a note to get A Tale from the Other Side when it becomes available this fall.

Where to Get It: Bandcamp

Ed Woltil has been in the spotlight before at Pure Pop Radio–for his hall-of-fame-worthy album Paper Boats, A Reverie in Thirteen Acts (one of our Favorite Records of the Year for 2014), and as songwriter and member of St. Petersburg, Florida band, the Ditchflowers. Here comes the Woltil spotlight again: One in My Tree is destined to be another feather in Ed’s cap. Ed’s gift for catchy melodies is as keen as ever; witness the should-be-hit-bound poppy opener, the upbeat “When We Fall in Love”; the pretty waltz, “Living in Between the Lines”; the breezy, Americanapopper “Caroline Wren,” and the rocking “A Matter of Time” (a genuine, good old toe-tapper), all of which are now playing in rotation on our air.

Check out “Make Me” from Ed Woltil’s One in My Tree, and pre-order at Bandcamp below:

Where to Get It: Pre-order at Bandcamp

Lisa Mychols and Super 8, whose gloriously wonderful, self-titled album is a must-get for all of you must-getters who pride themselves on populating their collections with must-get, long-playing pearls of pop wisdom, offer a track not on their must-get album as a bonus for buying said album. They call this track their “secret” track, and it’s a doozy, an imaginative reworking of the Korgis’ beloved 1980 hit, “Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime,” that sounds as though the band is dangling from a hazy hippie high wire with a warm, summer’s day campfire directly below them. Which makes it a must-get, so get on over to Lisa Mychols and Super 8’s Bandcamp page and… get it.

Where to Get It (Get the album and the secret bonus track): Bandcamp

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is chris-church-backwards-compatible-2020-3.jpgChris Church’s blazing collection of richly rendered pop-rockers, Backwards Compatible, is exploding here, there and everywhere. Catch the rocking “Begin Again,” slathered with a hefty yard’s worth of poppy background vocals, in rotation right here on Pure Pop Radio.

Where to Get It: Petsche Music Group

Stay tuned for more adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. And don’t forget to listen. Simply click on the player below, and don’t forget to save our player to your desktop and tablet.

Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premier website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features.

Pure Pop Radio brings the greatest melodic pop music in the universe to your waiting ears, 24 hours a day.

Pure Pop Radio is On the Air 24 Hours a Day!

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alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Just a short, quick, no muss and no fuss message for this midweek post: Pure Pop Radio is on the air 24 hours a day.  Seven days a week. Three hundred and sixty-five days a year.

Melody and harmony and classic songcraft are the orders of the day at Pure Pop Radio. Your favorite artists are pouring their hearts out with compositions that make you feel, make you think, make you tap your toes as their songs play on. Great, catchy melodies abound.

Pure Pop Radio is on the air, with great new releases like the first single from the Flat Five’s long-awaited, forthcoming second album, which looks to be a swinging release blessed with harmonic excellence. Preview the groovy song “Drip a Drop” by clicking on the video below:

Now, tune in to Pure Pop Radio, for “Drip a Drop” is playing in rotation along with a slew of other new and new-to-you tunes. Don’t miss a note!

Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premier website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features.

Pure Pop Radio brings the greatest melodic pop music in the universe to your waiting ears, 24 hours a day.

Drip a Drop of Flat Five Fun (and More!) on Pure Pop Radio

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alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

A brand-new, most welcome drip of fun from Chicago’s artisans of pure pop mastery tops today’s roll of new adds to Pure Pop Radio’s ever-growing playlist.

Streaming in rotation along with a wide variety of catchy melodic pop nuggets both old and new is the new single from the Windy City’s Flat Five, whose 2016 debut long player, It’s a World of Love and Hope, was a musical tapestry of epic proportions. “Drip a Drop” is a wonderful example of how it is done (see how they done it in a live take from November 2019):

We now pivot from the Flat Five’s great new single to Rick Hromadka’s top-flight collection of wonderfully-realized pop ‘n’ roll songs, Better Days. We’re spinning three tracks in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “The Ever After”; “The Last Volcano,” the last song recorded for the album, and the only one for which Rick plays all of the instruments, except drums; and “I’m Here to Entertain You,” a fun track possibly introducing a new genre: circus pop.

Pure Pop Radio favorite Kyle Vincent turns in another grand group of luscious melodic numbers on his latest album, Whatever It Takes, and we’re playing four in rotation: the upbeat and quite catchy “Bubblegum Baby,” “Two Cans and a String,” “The Girl in the Flower Shop,” and an affectionate tribute to the magical powers of “A Gilbert O’Sullivan Song.”

Kai Danzberg, who’s built up a strong following in the pop community with his last few releases, sees four more songs from his new album, Rockshow, added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: “You and Me,” a real toe-tapper; “Living Room,” the upbeat “Making it Right,” and the very Paul McCartney-ish “Waiting for You,” our favorite new slice of Kai.

Add to all of the above a track from Jim Basnight’s 2019 album, Not Changing (“Having Fun”) and a new song from Your Friend Jebb (“Change of Seasons”) that features Lisa Mychols and Tom Richards, glorious upper-register harmonies, and a melody gift-wrapped with warmth.

Get ready, set, and go to the player depicted below, click play, and lose yourself in a wonderland of catchy melodic pop music on Pure Pop Radio. Listen all weekend long and into the weeks and months ahead, and don’t forget to save the player to your desktop and tablet. Enjoy!

Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premier website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features.

Pure Pop Radio brings the greatest melodic pop music in the universe to your waiting ears, 24 hours a day.

The Toms! Librarians With Hickeys! Lisa Mychols! Pure Pop Radio Plays the Hits!

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alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

What happens when Pure Pop Radio is spinning the latest smash hits from the Toms and Librarians with Hickeys (with Lisa Mychols) alongside choice sixties nuggets from American Spring, Billy Nichols, the Aranbee Pop Symphony Orchestra and other fine purveyors of pop from across the decades?

Well, when you mix all of that with the greatest melodic pop in recent and faraway memory, you’ve got your one-stop home for melodic gems that fill your ears and your heart with joy. Pure Pop Radio is working hard for you. The proof is only a listen away.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-toms-one-man-girl-parade-cover-futureman-2020-2-1024x1024.jpgBoth sides of the Toms’ just released single on Futureman signal that a new album is coming any time at all. The pure poppy “One Man Girl Parade” and the decidedly-10cc-ish “You Shot Me Out of Your Cannon” are now playing in rotation. Hats off to all of the Toms, known collectively as  Tommy Marolda, for a catchy, surely headed-for-the-top-of-the-pops double-play.

Librarians With Hickeys, who sing and strum and write and percuss while providing no evidence of said red marks, are enjoying multiple spins for multiple tunes taking up residence on their inaugural long-player for Big Stir, Long Overdue. The b-side to their just released single, whose A-side is the uptempo smash “That Time is Now,” featuring the dulcet tones of Lisa Mychols, is a nifty, pseudo-psychedelic version of the Banana Splits’ “I Enjoy Being a Boy (In Love With You)” that practically demands airplay because this writer was hit in the head, way, way back in time, by a Banana Splits hatpin-fitted button thrown from a flatbed truck on which the Splits moved and grooved to one of their groovy tunes. True.

Also spinning in rotation is a quite spectacular number from the forthcoming album by Pure Pop Radio favorite mylittlebrother. Said number, “Janey,” a lovely sixties-drenched recording that sounds like something the Association might have recorded, releases on July 31. “Janey” is golden and a significantly-earwormy specimen.

Other new and new-to-you tunes now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio include nuggets from Greg Pope (“Four Leaf Clover” and the title song from his album, Guiding Star) and banjoist extraordinaire Jacob Panic (“Drown,” “The Flame,” and the country-pop-bluegrassy “Hold Your Freight Train” from Jacob’s 2016 self-named EP). Check out “Hold Your Freight Train” below (in fully-instrumentated and solo banjo incarnations, both rather fantabulous).

More choice pearls from Pure Pop Radio’s deep archive are being added to our rotation nearly every day, which makes for quite a satisfying listen. Simply click on the player below, and don’t forget to save our player to your desktop and tablet.

Enjoy!

Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premier website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features.

Pure Pop Radio brings the greatest melodic pop music in the universe to your waiting ears, 24 hours a day.

The Top Pop Tunes are Top of Mind on Pure Pop Radio

By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Melodic pop’s top poppers are putting smiles on the faces of melodic pop fans all around the world. Why, it’s a melange of melody, harmony, and just plain good music swirling around us…and it feels good!

Here at Pure Pop Radio, we’re spinning a rotation chock full of the latest music released by not only melodic pop’s top stars, but by multitalented up-and-comers and here-to-entertain-you singers and instrumentalists for whom melody and harmony are key components of the thing that makes everything just plain alright.

Bill Lloyd, who’s been a fixture of the Pure Pop Radio airwaves since his hall-of-fame album Set to Pop set new standards for pop and roll more than 25 years ago, has a new collection of top tunes out called Don’t Kill the Messenger, and we’re playing some of them in heavy rotation. Tune in to hear “You Got Me,” “Etch-a-Sketch,” “Kake’n’8It,” and “The Kiss of the Summer Wind.” Keep an ear out, also, for other tracks from across Bill’s catchy catalog, including one of our all-time favorites, “The Best Record Ever Made,” and “Show and Tell the World,” from the lovely recording Bill made with pop journeyman Jamie Hoover, Paparazzi.

And while your ears are out there hunting for the sweet, catchy sounds of pop, keep them zeroed in on songs from Dana Countryman’s latest long-player, Come Into My Studio. We’re playing three songs from this album that is, without question, another smash from the west coast master of melody. Listen for “Willow Tree,” “Ecstasy,” and “Take a Little Chance,” all playing in rotation, as you would expect.

Alongside the latest top pop from Bill Lloyd and Dana Countryman, we’re also bringing you some truly fine musical specimens we’ve plucked from deep in the Pure Pop Radio archives; you’ll hear from David Myhr, Cupid’s Carnival, astroPuppies, Bill DeMain, the Well Wishers, Nobby Clark and Rab Howat, Two Sheds Jackson, Fancey, the Honeydogs, and other like-minded musical magicians.

Listen, why don’t you. Right now, in fact, would be a good time. Simply click on the player below for instant melodic satisfaction! And don’t forget to save the player to your desktop, mobile phone and tablet.

See you on the radio!

Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premier website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features.

Pure Pop Radio brings the greatest melodic pop music in the universe to your waiting ears, 24 hours a day.

Your Weekend Listening Sorted. Pure Pop Radio is On the Air 24/7!

By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Pure Pop Radio, your home for the greatest melodic pop music from artists both new and new-to-you, is on the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which means your listening regiment for this weekend is well sorted.

We’ve got a lineup of artists whose work practically defines what makes melodic pop music such a joy to listen to. We’ve told you, during the past two weeks, of newly-released sounds from today’s top artists playing on our air in rotation, Winterpills, John Howard, the Explorers Club, Missyfit, Surf School Dropouts and Emily Zuzek among them.

New adds over the past week include Cloud Eleven’s pure Beach Boys-y pop condensed into a joyous minute-long faux commercial for Brian Wilson’s fabled 1960s health food store (“Radiant Radish (Theme),” and a multi-song draw from Pure Pop Radio all-time favorite Kenny Herbert.

We’ve also been mining the Pure Pop Radio archives for songs and artists from across the decades that have been ongoing staples of our on-air streaming mix over the years. From the 2010s, in fact, we’ve added treasured tracks from Sunday Sun, Rob Bonfiglio, Nelson Bragg, Oberon Rose, Jet Electro, Kelly Jones, Jay Stansfield and that up-and-coming 🙂 musical magician, Jeff Lynne.

There’s more where all that came from, but space is at a premium in this instance; more new adds, both new and new-to-you, will be announced next week.

Meanwhile, tune in to Pure Pop Radio all weekend long and beyond for the greatest melodic pop music in the universe. Pure Pop Radio is your 24-hour-a-day source for the greatest melodic pop music to be heard anywhere. Click on the player below and enjoy (within the player, check out the last few songs played and don’t forget to save the player to your desktop or tablet).

Thanks for listening. Your next favorite song, or one of your current favorites, is now playing…on Pure Pop Radio!

Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premier website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features.

Pure Pop Radio brings the greatest melodic pop music in the universe to your waiting ears, 24 hours a day.

Reviews: 7.9.19: The Ebb and Flow of a Life: Cloud Eleven’s Illuminating Song Cycle

By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Cloud Eleven – Footnote (West Coast, 2019)

The minimalist front cover that houses Rick Gallego’s latest, meticulously crafted songs is bathed in a wash of lightened, sun-soaked grains of sand; at bottom right, water reaches a line on an ethereal beach. The new song’s titles are typeset within the upper half of the equally minimalist back cover; the small parade of players, all imaginary yet full of life, are listed below–cohorts in a dreamy song cycle (Gallego is the only actual living, breathing player).

The cover, an homage to the wrapper for Todd Rundgren’s 1976 album, Faithful, is no accidental nod; Gallego sends out “special gratitude to todd rundgren, who lighted the way to my own musical existence all those years ago” and sets the text in lowercase, just as Todd did.

Footnote is Gallego’s seventh go-round as Cloud Eleven’s chief cook and bottle washer. This new release is no mere footnote, however; it is, in fact, what the previous six releases have been traveling toward all along: a gorgeous song cycle about the ebb and flow of a life (a songwriter’s?) as one follows a path and discovers his or her essence along the way.

The songs on Footnote sound nothing like Todd Rundgren, even though the Hermit of Mink Hollow’s influence is in there; with each new release, Gallego paints a masterpiece colored as only a Cloud Eleven album can be.

Gallego’s songs and arrangements are crafted with a unique combination of hues, tints, tones and colors; one flick of his brush too many and his songs might tilt toward another form altogether. Here, as the songs on Footnote play, we get the feeling that Gallego is painting his soundscapes, touched by the spirit of ELO and the harmony-laden Beach Boys, while balanced on a tightrope of his own devising; what a gloriously creative and fulfilling place that must be to hang.

Footnote opens with a quartet of songs set in a melodically-charged dreamscape. The first song, “On Pismo Beach,” sets to sail with a ghostly strum of guitar that barrels into a rich blast of harmony before it draws a lyrical picture of a place where all is blissful and serene. “Aural Illusion” builds on that ideal, positing that in sound we prosper (“If you can believe that music is love / Then you’ll understand the meaning of / Aural Illusion”).

The second half of the first block of songs continues on the path set by the first. The lovely ballad “Solar Fields” suggests that, after allowing sound to enrich your existence, the warmth of the sun will help to complete you (“With the sun on your face / You will never fade away / In the bright glowing light / You won’t fail”). And, armed with the benefits realized from pleasing sounds and sunlight, you can trust in someone to lead you down a valid path of exploration (the Brian Wilson-ish “Bound to Follow”).

This emotional journey continues with the relaxed-sounding, Free Design-like “For Weal and Woe,” in which we discover that the days ahead bring a promise of discovery, so long as we are in tune with ourselves (“Our lives ebb and flow / For weal and for woe”). And then, we are transported to terra firma, where we learn even more about ourselves.

In “L.A. County,” we are entranced and inspired by a girl who gives us a reason to set down roots (“We will live our lives here”). “Skywriting” allows a songwriter to connect with the magical muse that surrounds him (“But I’ll try to do my best / Hope my muse will do the rest / It’s like magic when songs appear, I confess”).

Sometimes, though, it is hard–impossible, even–to connect. The subject of the grand, wistful ballad, “One Big Hideaway,” squirrels himself inside his home–inside his room–as the world turns around him. He misses his family, but can’t find a way to reach out to them. There will be no doubt in the listener’s mind as to who this song is about.

In the end, we are left to ponder the validity of our life’s journey. Do we learn from what we discover as we make stops along the way, or do we downplay what we have achieved and consider ourselves to be nothing more than a speck of dust because none of it will matter in the grand scheme of things? “Now I’m content to be / I won’t pretend I’m anything, but a / Footnote,” Gallego sings in the closing, title song.

Songs can teach us a lot about ourselves. Throughout our lives, we learn who we are by also learning who we aren’t. Rick Gallego’s illuminating song cycle won’t provide us with all of the answers we desire, but its beautifully rendered songs will at least provide us with some lovely, melodic hints.

Where to Get It: Kool Kat Musik, Amazon (CD and digital), Apple Music (iTunes), CD Baby (CD and digital)

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Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premiere website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features. We’ve been around since the first weekly Pure Pop Radio shows, which began broadcasting in 1995, and the 24-hour Pure Pop Radio station, which ended last August.

Welcome to your number one home for coverage of the greatest melodic pop music in the universe from the ’60s to today.