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.
The latest and greatest pure, melodic pop hits are streaming on Pure Pop Radio, but hurry–you have only until August 25 to bop to the catchiest beats in town!
What’s new and now playing in rotation on Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio? “California Moon,” Fernando Perdomo’s new single, featuring Pat Sansone (Wilco, Autumn Defense), is top of the pops, as are four standout, propulsive tunes from the Turnback’s soon-to-be-released album, Spinning the Earth in Reverse.
Speaking of spinning, the Jangle Band’s new single, featuring the Byrdsian “The Guy Who Used to Care,” is playing in hot rotation, as are new songs from Azwel’s latest long player, Phantasmagoria, and new releases from Scott Brookman, Yani Martinelli and Friends; Lannie Flowers (another in his growing line of free songs being released prior to Lannie’s new album coming due in the fall); and McPherson Grant, whose debut album features the Klaatu-ish tune “The Marvelous and Mysterious Adventures of Sir Ollie and His Ox,” supported percussively by Klaatu’s Terry Draper.
New songs from Optiganally Yours, Tsar’s Jeff Whalen, George Usher and Lisa Burns, Michael Slawter, Jeffrey Foskett and Jeff Larson, Sean Solo, Miami Dan and the Hayes Street Band, Farrington, Wilkerson, Tony Valentino, and many more of your favorite artists are also being featured in these last 11 days of broadcasting.
Remember that we will be active as active can be here on the Pure Pop Radio website, even though Pure Pop Radio will be going off the air on August 25. So fire up your Internet radio receptacle, groove to the pop tunes, and we’ll see you on the air.
Pure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day (until August 25). Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!
The days are bulging with great new songs and albums and artists, so here’s another list of what’s spinning for the first time on Pure Pop Radio–days four and five of our Springtime New Music Explosion combined into one. Let’s start with another incredible long player that’s sure to be a favorite of yours, and yours too. Here is Alan’s review.
Radio Days | Back in the Day You know how it was when you were younger, when the mere hint of a new album from one of your favorite bands put a smile on your face that stayed there until you held the album in your hands, and then stayed there still? That’s how we feel about Radio Days. The band’s new album, set for release on April 23, is their best yet, a great collection of pop and rock and roll that is nothing less than their crowning achievement thus far, and that’s really saying something.
The band’s first record as a trio, Back in the Day was basically recorded live in their sound man’s basement; you can feel the energy dripping off the walls, as if the songs were being played in the original Cavern Club in Liverpool. There is an immediacy to the playing and an emotional intensity in the vocal delivery and instrumental backing. The harmonies are grand. Most of all, there is a strong sense of commitment to making a great album, which is what Radio Days has done.
The sprightly, decidedly Merseybeat-styled opener, “Why Don’t You Love Me Anymore,” conjures images of fans gathered close to the stage, moving this way and that to the beat, almost crying for the joy of the song as wild guitar figures and percussion play to the groove. It’s a spectacular opening number.
There is so much to love here. The energetic, beat-driven “I’m in Love With You”shows off the group’s mastery of the melodic pop form while incorporating both upbeat and somewhat subdued passages. “Back in the Day,” another top-notch upbeat pop song, celebrates the spirit of Badfinger, Raspberries, the Who, and the Knack, and wedges in a sly little key change about two-thirds of the way through. “Smash this Party,” a smart pop-rocker, actually sounds like it could have been recorded by late-period Klaatu.
More wonders abound on this album, like “Subway Station Girl,” with its bopping rhythm and rocking guitar solos played in the early rock ‘n’ roll style (think Buddy Holly); and a mid-tempo ballad, “Betta (Are You Feeling Better?),” that wouldn’t have felt out of place on the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night album. The rest, well, we’ll leave for you to discover for yourselves.
On April 1, we’ll be adding all of the songs on Back in the Day to our playlist: “Why Don’t You Love Me Anymore,” “Rock and Roll Night,” “You Won’t Fool Me Twice,” “Back in the Day,” “Your Words,” “I’m in Love with You,” “You Bring Me Down,” “Out of the Shade,” “Subway Station Girl,” “Best Friend,” “Deep Blue Eyes,” “Smash this Party,” “Never Gonna Make It,” and “Betta.” Prepare to smile.
– Alan Haber
The Jangle Band | Edge of a Dream The band members (Pure Pop Radio favorite Joe Algeri among them) may be spread across Australia, but they come together to forge a solid pop sound on their debut album. Whether they’re dressed in pure pop clothes for the lovely and catchy mid-tempo title song, Byrds-ing it up in the Roger McGuinn-ish “Love You Too” (which includes a beautiful, rubbery vocal line in the chorus and kicks off with a “Be My Baby” drum beat, which seems to be the thing in pop this year), or slowing down to ballad pace with the pretty “Exile on Murray Street,” the Jangle Band is on the case with an album’s worth of catchy delights, beautifully sung and played. We’re playing the aforementioned songs, plus “282,” “It Won’t Break,” “Let Me Breathe,” “This Soul is Not for Sale,” and “Kill the Lovers.” Nice going, guys.
Damien Binder – A New World Sydney, Australia’s Damien Binder is today’s second artist in the spotlight from down under. He fits in well here at Pure Pop Radio, seeing as how his album is co-produced by Michael Carpenter and features Kylie Whitney on backing vocals. Binder’s vocals are strong and expressive, and the playing is exquisite. There is a Byrds-ian edge to “A New World” and “Breaking Beyond Me” (and there you have today’s second Byrds reference); “I Won’t Let You Down Again” has an Abbey Road-period Lennon quality about it; and “What You Call Your Own” is an upbeat pop song with a country sheen. We’re playing these songs in rotation. Welcome, Damien Binder, to Pure Pop Radio.
Solarflairs | “Spirit of Johnny” Memphis, Tennessee’s Solarflairs, fronted by bass player Elisabeth Eickhoff, who also handles lead vocals, hits big right out of the gate with this powerful mid-tempo ballad, a catchy number with great vocal harmonies in the choruses. An understated U2 guitar approach (really) adds an interesting and effective layer to the proceedings. Good work; we look forward to the next release.
Cait Brennan | Debutante This stylistically-diverse debut has been greeted with open arms for good reason–it’s remarkably assured and full of life. “Once Upon a Nevermind” and “Madame Pompadour” are pure pop delights, and “I Want You Back” hits with an amped-up mix of Buddy Holly and Elvis Costello nods and Brennan’s urgent, spitfire lead vocal. The torch song vibe of “Showman” is driven by slightly ghost-like keyboards and churchly organ. We’re playing these songs, and “All in Love is Fair” and “Underworld.” Great stuff.
Stereo Tiger | Performing Songs Stereo Tiger’s latest release, an EP containing five covers of favorite tunes, hits the proverbial bullseye, which is not a surprise around these parts. The band pays tribute to the mighty Beach Boys classic, “Don’t Worry Baby”; bows to the majesty of Badfinger’s “No Matter What”; swoons to Elliot Smith’s “Pretty Ugly (Before)”; and pops out, Paul McCartney-esque style, with Sloan’s “C’mon C’mon (We’re Gonna Get it Started).” Silky smooth pop vocals and ace musicianship abound. This is free at Bandcamp. Snap it up, would be our suggestion. And, of course, listen to these songs here on Pure Pop Radio.
Red Cabin | White Morning Hailing from New York’s Long Island, Jonathan Foster turns in a fine album full of beautiful songs, including the somber, melodic “Fade into You,” the dreamlike “The Look,” and the straight-ahead soft poppy “Dead Man’s Stare.” Like the aforementioned Stereo Tiger release, it’s free at Bandcamp. Enjoy, in rotation, here.
The Alloy Six | “Each Night” These Stockholm, Sweden-based popsters play through a beat-driven, energy-filled number, now playing in rotation. We’re happy to join Jonas, Johan, Staffan, Ola, Per and Mathias on their musical journey.
Jeff Larson | “February Passing Through” We continue to bow to the talents of Jeff Larson, who we’ve been playing for around 18 years on the various incarnations of Pure Pop Radio. This pretty song, with Jeff’s plaintive vocal up front and close, is another feather in his cap, a lovely number that will stay with you through frequent listens. Now playing in rotation.
Michael Kroll | Clamourous This veteran musician plays in a bluesy rock style, singing with a hint of a softened growl in his voice. “Allegiance” is one such number, but the artist paints with other colors, too, as someone who studied the songs of the Beatles might do. “The Light” is a catchy pop song with one foot in the ’60s folk movement; “Young” is the kind of considered ballad ’70s singer-songwriters would have included in the repertoires. “Blue” is a lively, upbeat, catchy song that more than hints at what Kroll would sound like in concert. Now playing in rotation.
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That’s five days of our Springtime New Music Explosion rolled into four–a pretty neat trick, don’t you think? Now, it’s your turn to listen to the above-mentioned songs and 8,500 more playing in rotation on your home for the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today…Pure Pop Radio. Enjoy!
Check it out: We’re turning today–day 10–of our ongoing New Music Explosion into a celebration. Well, every day over the past two weeks has been a celebration of the greatest pop in the universe. So let’s shout and dance the night away to some of the latest adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist.
Here’s a half-dozen nuggets now playing in rotation for your listening, dancing and romancing pleasure:
Lannie Flowers | Live in NYC Longtime Pure Pop Radio favorite plugs in and wows patrons at Brooklyn’s Trash Bar with the cool sounds of power pop. What more can we say, other than we’re now spinning nine tracks from this energy-filled album, including Big Star’s “Back of a Car (Radio Remix),” “Give Me a Chance,” “Favorite Song,” “Where Does Love Go,” “Come On Girl,” “Another Weekend,” “Rusty Circles,” “Circles,” and “Turn Up Your Radio.” Power pop in the borough of Brooklyn rocks!
Robert Crenshaw | Friends, Family and Neighbors One of the sweetest surprises of the year is this joyous celebration of the love of the clever, catchy song. In these nine wonderful and witty tunes, Robert Crenshaw looks at the upside of improbability (the lovely, hymn-like “The Night the Detroit Lions Won the Super Bowl”), familiarity in the face of love (the Bill Lloyd co-write, “You’re So Hip to Me”), detachment versus reality (“What if I’m Really Dead?”), and hiding behind the wall of booze (the gospel-tinged “Turn to Booze”). Add in gorgeous covers of Neil Young’s “Cowgirl in the Sand” and Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” (the latter featuring Marshall, Dean and John Crenshaw), and guest turns from Graham Maby and Don Dixon, and you’ve got a a miraculous entry in this year’s best-of sweepstakes. We’re actually spinning all of the songs on this album–all of the above and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Revisited,” “Everything in its Place,” “In Its Place,” “Down Here in Heaven,” and “Cowgirl in the Sand (Hidden track).” Simply fantastic.
Myrtle Park’s Fishing Club | Nothing to Be Afraid Of From completely out of left field comes this delicious collection of sweet, happy-sounding pop from Kate Stephenson, trading under one of the most delightful band names in like ever. From the delightful, truly musical close background harmony vocals (all Kate) to the genius songs, this will become an instant favorite before the first song is finished playing. You’ll hear a mix of touchstones within these dozen songs, all of which we’re playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. The Roches (especially on the astounding, a cappella “Why Do I Cry?”), the Dream Academy, Prefab Sprout, and so on creep in and out of the mix, but it’s Kate’s incredible talent that shines through strongest of all. Here’s what you will hear in rotation: “Nothing to Be Afraid Of,” “Wonderful You,” “This Kind of Longing,” “Colour the Blue,” “Dancing on My Doorstep,” “Bad News,” “Keep on Dreaming,” “Afternoon Moon,” “Goodnight My Darling,” “Lazy Baby,” and “Widest Smile.”
Jeff Larson | Close Circle We’ve been spinning Jeff Larson’s records since he first burst onto the soft pop scene with Watercolor Sky in 1998. Jeff’s instantly recognizable sound charms listeners each time out. We’re proudly playing four songs from his latest full length, and we can’t wait for you to hear them: “Rescue,” “Following the Echoes,” “Goodbye Ocean Street Beaches,” and “The Lay of the Land.”
George Usher and Lisa Burns | The Last Day of Winter We’ve missed the warmth that George Usher’s timeless music has brought to our airwaves over the years. Color us so happy to have new songs to spin from the duets album he’s recorded with Lisa Burns. Despite not being able to use his hands or play an instrument during the two harsh years he was dealing with a cancer diagnosis and attending neuropathy pain, he was able to craft a set of lyrics which Burns set to music. We’re playing four of these delicate songs: “Wake Me When Tomorrow’s Here,” “My Precious Wisdom,” “Dark Blue Room,” and “Never Ever Land.” Welcome back, George.
Rick Hromadka | Trippin’ Dinosaurs If you’re looking for the perfect soundtrack for the hazy moments that pass between the time you close your eyes and fall asleep, this is your go-to platter. Trippy, hippy, top-notchy and charged with elastic, melodic goodness, Trippin’ Dinosaurs takes psychedelic pop to the outer limits and blasts the dark away with a lively, smiley-faced collection of songs shot full of imagination and a whole lot of fun. Rick Hromadka (Maple Mars), take a bow. We’re playing six of these great songs: “Conversation,” “It’s All in Your Head,” “Dreams of a Hippie Summer,” “Twice a Sunny Day Tomorrow,” “Tough Love Letter Bomb,” and “Listen I’m Waiting to Sleep.”
There ya go! Day 10 is done, but day 11 is just around the corner…next week, in fact, so see you here then for another list of new adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist!