Surf School Dropouts “Summer is a State of Mind”
Mid-summer and another Beach Boys clone is revealed by the light of the sun, and the title track says it all. These four guys from Denmark are worshippers of those Wilsonesque harmonies and hooks, Amen.
“Baby, I Long to be Yours” continues the Pet Sounds parade, in fact the compositions and lyrics are so close, only the vocals give away that these aren’t the real Beach Boys. The Dropouts also recall The Zombies on “We’ll Follow The Sun” and those lovely harmonies soak every inch of “Beach Bound.” And things are broken up nicely by the ballad “The Road Ahead Of Me.” My only critique here is that the vocals are pretty innocuous, the lead singer doesn’t really stand out enough, compared to the others. Highly recommended to fans of First Class, Jan and Dean, The Sunrays and lovers of 60′s surfer pop.
Jeff Larson “The World Over”
If you grew up listening to the Southern California soft rock, then Jeff Larson’s newest is pretty essential listening. With willful consistency Larson gets together with his buddies Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell (America) once again and he records those gentle strums and sun-soaked melodies.
What makes this album stand out is the chemistry between Larson and the backing vocalist Jeddrah Schmit, the daughter of The Eagles bassist Timothy B.Schmit. Her solid assist on “Your Way Back Home” and “One Good Lie” make these laid back tunes extra special. The only curve ball is the country twang on “Point Of Rising.” The songs are all radio friendly for most AOR and even we get a sweet ending in “Reason To Be Near You” with Jeffrey Foskett of Brian Wilson Band doing the backing vocals. A real charmer of an album that engages you, even when you thought you’ve heard it all before.