Sunday, October 30, 2011

REVIEW: Scott Brookman "A Song For Me, A Song For You"

Recommended for fans of the Beach Boys and/or piano based pop

While done on an indie budget, Scott Brookman has created some memorable melodies on this release. I'm betting there are a few Beach Boys/Brian Wilson albums in his record collection somewhere.
There are only a few guitar based tunes on this album, but they are expertly inserted just when you need them.
While Scott doesn't overdub background vocal after background vocal, his inflection is reminiscent of Brian Wilson, or his brother Carl at times. He's got a very pleasant voice, which is sometimes elusive in the indie-pop genre. (there are lots of great songwriters out there who would benefit from someone else singing their songs, but Scott is not one of them.)
So if you're looking for something to spin with your feet up one Sunday afternoon, you could do worse than "A Song For Me, A Song For You".

Standouts for me include: "The First Assault On My Day", "Lemon Lane", and "Monday Shirt"

"Monday Shirt" is available for free download HERE.

Scott's Website: Scott Brookman Bandcamp

Thursday, August 4, 2011

REVIEW: The Cars "Move Like This"

Cars’ New Album: Good, but Falls Short of Band’s Former Glory

Tech tipsComputer Tricks

By Joe Lynch

The Cars released 'Move Like This' in summer of 2011

The Cars, 2011

At first listen, the Cars’ first album of new material since 1987 seems to pick up where the band left off a couple of decades ago. Move Like This is nicely reminiscent of the band’s best work, but unfortunately it lacks something essential. The opening sounds of “Blue Tip,” for example, hearken back to a time when melody was still infused in pop music and the artists that sang the songs did so without the aid of software to correct their vocal missteps.

The opening measures, however, also expose what is missing from the album: the band’s bass guitarist and alternate lead singer, Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000 of pancreatic cancer. It is obvious, and painfully so, that the opening bass notes are provided and sequenced by Greg Hawkes on keyboard.

In a recent interview, Ric Ocasek spoke of there being a good deal of tension between Orr and him during the recording and songwriting process. I gather that Ocasek wanted full and complete control, but Orr, being a creative artist in his own right, pushed back, and thus the tension. However, out of such tension often comes great music, as was the case with The Cars late-’70s and early ’80s efforts.

Without someone to create that tension for this new album, what we have here is basically a Ric Ocasek solo recording that just happens to have the remaining Cars on board for the ride. This new release suggests that the tension between Ocasek and Orr provided for more melody and more background vocal harmony, as both of those elements are lacking here. They’re not entirely missing—there are some background vocals and some melody—but they’re not at the level of the previous albums.

Also missing here are the well-crafted guitar solos from Elliot Easton. Easton is all but castrated on this release, only managing to wrangle one solo, and a brief one at that.

Although Ocasek’s lyrics on the Cars albums were rarely political, this time he apparently couldn’t resist the opportunity to take advantage of the current political climate and score a few points with the left, by including a line like “they’re stroking all the gun-heads to the ninth degree,” an unsubtle reference to any conservative politician the liberal listener may insert to fit their stereotypical views.

I don’t want to sound completely negative about this new release. There are several very enjoyable tracks, and it’s a welcome alternative to just about anything else current to the market today. “Too Late”, “Sad Song”, “Soon”, “Free”, and “Take Another Look” are fine alternative pop songs. (“Take Another Look,” however does beg for Benjamin Orr’s vocals.) Unfortunately, there is no place on today’s radio for such songs.

All in all, Move Like This is an effort that I will listen to and mostly enjoy from time to time, when the mood strikes. But as often happens when artists try to reclaim their former glory, it falls just short.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Works In Progress....Joe Lynch

I've been working on a follow up to my last CD "Taking My Time", (which is here on the blog if you want to search for it) and thought I'd post one of the demos here for you guys/gals to check out. The song is called "Be Myself (All The Time)". Check it out, and comments welcome.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Romantics "Bookie's Club" January 1979 (LINK UPDATED 06/12)

Before they released their first album, this radio show is a quite interesting testament to their energy on stage. Featuring a couple of songs that were never officially recorded (to my knowledge) plus a very early rendition of "what I Like About You" with some different lyrics and what sounded like an unsure Jimmy Marinos trying to find the right melody.

Thanks to an anonymous blog reader for sending this one in. I re-edited the track separators and ran it through some de-hissing software and that seemed to increase the sound quality slightly.

password: powerpopulation

1. First In Line
2. Running Away
3. She Knows Me
4. Gimme One More Chance
5. Tell It To Carrie
6. Take Me Out Of The Rain
7. Stone Pony
8. What I Like About You
9. Coming Back Home
10. This Could Be The Last Time

The Ramones "Rocket To Russia" 180 Gram Vinyl

password: powerpopulation

Cretin Hop 1:55
Rockaway Beach 2:06
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow 2:47
Locket Love 2:09
I Don't Care 1:38
Sheena Is A Punk Rocker 2:49
We're A Happy Family 2:47
Teenage Lobotomy 2:00
Do You Wanna Dance? 1:52
I Wanna Be Well 2:28
I Can't Give You Anything 1:57
Ramona 2:35
Surfin' Bird 2:37
Why Is It Always This Way? 2:32

Monday, February 21, 2011

Best Music You Never Heard: Rook "Bad Memory" EP

This band disappeared as quickly as they appeared!
The only website in their booklet that is active is the lead singer's. And it's just a personal family blog now.

password: powerpopulation

1. Bad Memory (4:45)
2. Let It Go (3:35)
3. Show The Way (3:46)
4. Last Chance (4:48)