Tag Archives: New on Pure Pop Radio

Pure Pop Radio is Bursting with New, Magical Sounds

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Although you probably won’t ever hear any songs by rocker Marilyn Manson on Pure Pop Radio, you will likely agree with a quote attributed to him.

“Music is the strongest form of magic,” Manson is said to have uttered once upon a time.  Good for Marilyn, we say! We think the rocker is right, and we bet you do too.

Pure Pop Radio, the 24-hour internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music in the universe, sends magical, musical missives out to waiting ears that are thirsty for sounds that make everything feel alright. And we all could use help in that regard these days.

Recent adds to our ever-growing playlist show that the catchiest songs from new and new-to-you artists are spinning hour after hour, around the clock. Some particularly fine examples:

Dear Stella. The nom de plume of Austria’s Stefanie Drexler is bound to satisfy fans of dynamic, creative sounds with the EP Time Zones, releasing tomorrow.  These six, monumentally rich songs, beautifully produced and performed with true heart (check Drexler’s strong, emotional vocals), incorporate retro and contemporary sounds in surprising ways. Pop pundits Bleu, Eric Barao, David Myhr and Kai Danzberg are on hand, but this is Drexler’s show all the way, and a incredible, joyous show it is. We’re playing all six tunes in rotation. Here’s just a taste, a beautiful ballad from one of your soon-to-be-favorite 2020 releases, Time Zones:

The BOTP Band. With a half-dozen like-minded musicians in tow, the Junipers’ Robyn Gibson once again puts his stamp on treasured, classic tunes from pop music’s past. The latest collection, entitled Bob of the Pops Volume 5, makes songs by ABBA, Bob Dylan, the Tokens, the Five Stairsteps, the Hollies, Elliott Smith and many more of your favorites come alive in true BOTP fashion. We’re playing six of these stellar tracks, including the following pair (sing along if you know the words, and we know that you do!):

As usual, there is more–much more playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, including new songs from Orbis Max with Emperor Penguin, Swedish Polarbears, Caper Clowns, Nick Frater, Cliff Hillis, Richard X. Heyman. And more still!

Tune in to our 24-hour stream and enjoy the 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.

What’s New? Lots.

new on pp banner hybrid 2-use this one, it's fixed

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Because there have been and continue to be fairly long periods of time without any posts in this space, I thought it would be a good idea to provide a short update on what’s new and happening, as the kids often say.

First, more new and new-to-you melodic pop nuggets continue to be added to Pure Pop Radio’s ever-growing playlist; why, just yesterday, I added a whole bunch of really terrific songs I think you’re going to love. More on that in a moment, or somewhere in the neighborhood of a paragraph or three.

A while ago, I let it be known on social media that I was having some health problems that were persisting and refusing to go away. That situation has not improved very much; if anything, it has gotten worse, leaving me with fairly substantial periods of time where I’m much too tired and in too much pain to do much of anything else. Yet, I remain positive and hopeful.

I’m dealing with a rough case of psoriatic arthritis that, combined with my ongoing battle with neuropathy, many years running, is causing me much anguish both day and night. These conditions are particularly hard to deal with during the current Covid-19 crisis, when I must visit with doctors online rather than in person. Some days, I’m unable to do very much other than sleep, deal with pain, and generally mope while sitting still, instead of working on Pure Pop Radio and this website.

All of the above is to say that, despite my ongoing medical situation, I will continue to add songs to the Pure Pop Radio playlist on as regular a basis as I can, and report on those adds in this space in a similar fashion. I will also work on reviews as I am able.

As regards to the new songs I said I added to the playlist yesterday, well, I’m pretty impressed with the lot of them: now playing in rotation are sweet and catchy new tracks from Geoff Palmer and Lucy Ellis, from their terrific and whole-lotta-fun album, Your Face is Weird. You’re going to love it.

But wait, there’s more new and new-to-you excellence playing on our air from:

Wilding’s The Death of Foley’s Mall, the excellent work of one Justin Wilding Stokes that I believe you will be hearing much of in the coming months. We’re playing five songs in rotation

mylittlebrother’s Howl, a much-awaited masterwork from Will Harris and crew, from which we’re playing five songs in rotation

The always great Bill DeMain, who has covered probably the one Harry Nilsson song that you would never expect him to cover, from the movie Skidoo, about which much will be said later on; “Garbage Can Ballet” is the name of the tune, and it’s another masterful job by a Pure Pop Radio favorite artist

Michael Carpenter and the Banks Brothers. This sterling country pop project, which is bursting with charm and melodic excellence, not to mention top-notch playing, is represented on our air by three most impressive, toe-tapping tracks

Kelly Jones, another Pure Pop Radio favorite, who has just released a super-fine EP with four great tracks, three written with the above-mentioned Bill DeMain

J.P. Cregan, a terrific popster about whom I know almost nothing, but that will change pretty quick, I betcha (thanks to Coke Belda for the general heads-up)

Kenny Herbert, whose music I’ve been playing on the various incarnations of Pure Pop Radio for more than 20 years; his latest, an uptempo love song called “It’s Only Me,” is another instant classic from the musical bard of Scotland

https://music.apple.com/gb/album/its-only-me-single/1532003172

Hoodoo Gurus, speaking of classics; the Gurus have released another top track called “Get Out of Dodge,” with the Bangles’ Vicki Peterson and the Beach Boys’ John Cowsill in tow.

There is more, of course–much more, and I will hopefully be reporting on those adds shortly. Meanwhile…

Thanks for reading and thanks for listening to Pure Pop Radio and visiting this website for reviews of great melodic pop music. I am humbled that you take the time to see what I’m up to, and if it sometimes seems like I’m not up to much, I really, truly am.

See you again soon.

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.

Bill Lloyd’s Latest is Another Winning Collection

new on pp banner hybrid 2-use this one, it's fixed

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

new on pp banner hybrid 2-use this one, it's fixed

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

new on pp banner hybrid 2-use this one, it's fixed

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!

new on pp banner hybrid 2-use this one, it's fixed

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!

new on pp banner hybrid 2-use this one, it's fixed

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

new on pp banner hybrid 2-use this one, it's fixed

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 Latest Hit-bound Releases Playing on Pure Pop Radio Sing a Catchy Tune

By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

We’re always on the lookout for the latest hit-bound melodic pop releases that listeners need to hear. The latest additions to the Pure Pop Radio playlist are catchy proof that hit-bound is in season this season.

Just added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist are some of today’s top melodic pop creations. Tune in for:

Lisa Mychols and Super 8, whose self-titled impending release puts pure pop on a delightful, catchy pedestal, presenting a song cycle powered by melody, harmony, and quite beautiful sentiment. This teaming of two major melodic pop talents is really nothing less than a dream come true; listeners won’t be able to get this album out of their heads. We’re playing three songs: “You and Me, Me and You,” a joyous, upbeat, Burt Bacharach-esque sixties toe-tapper; “The Monkee Song,” ostensibly a cute, wildly inventive and fun novelty number that really is so much more; and “Witchi Tai To,” a warm cover of Jim Pepper’s well-covered 1970s peyote song.

A double dose of Floridian popster Kirk Adams (Pop 4), whose latest offerings are “Here and Now,” a pretty, emotional ballad with a decidedly David Gilmour-esque guitar presence, and “I’m Willing to Let You Break My Heart,” a full-on, catchy pure pop exercise with a strong, catchy chorus.

Surf School Dropouts’ glorious, very-Beach Boys-y “Sound of the Summer,” in which this top-shelf group’s trademarks–majestic melody and lovely, rich harmony stacks–combine to spread joy to the world.

The Amplifier Heads’ wondrous “The Man with the Sun for a Head,” a retro, upbeat slice of tuneful pop.

The bluesy, country pop of Emily Zuzek’s “All that Love,” which will grace the singer’s upcoming album, releasing on August 28. The sweet, pedal steel guitar part cries out for your emotional attention.

Two typically engaging and terrific songs from Pure Pop Radio favorite Timmy Sean’s forthcoming album, A Tale from the Other Side, which releases in the fall. “In California,” a breathless upbeat pop-rocker, and “Fortune and Fame,” an pounding, emotional ride, sizzle.

We’re also continually adding a ton of tracks from Pure Pop Radio’s deep well of archived releases from the past few decades, from treasured artists as diverse as the Rubinoos, the Spongetones, the Sprague Brothers, the Squires of the Subterrain, the Sugarplastic, the Wilson Hospital, the Vinyl Kings, XTC, the Bellfuries, Sproutless, the Cherry Drops, and Bob Lind. Plus, as the saying goes, many, many more.

Pure Pop Radio is your 24-hour-a-day source for the greatest melodic pop music in the universe. Tune in by clicking on the player below (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)

radio1

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.