The Charlestones “Off The Beat”
This impressive Italian band sounds very similar to Supergrass and Oasis on the opener “Off The Beat” full of driving rhythm and Mattia Bonanni’s wailing vocal. “Love Is A Cadillac” has the airy guitar work and echoing melody along the lines of Coldplay, its a great stadium-sized rocker and proof that Brit pop can still find a home beyond the borders of the UK. Each song is compelling, like “The Girl Who Came To Stay,” it has great melody and one of the many highlights of this album. Unlike the debut, no filler here and fans of great alt. rock like The Kooks or The Stokes will also love this. Highly recommended!
Secret Friend “Time Machine”
Secret Friend is a new all star collective that includes Willie Wisely, Kelly Jones, Linus of Hollywood, and Roger Joseph Manning Jr. Organized by Australian songwriter Steven Fox, Time Machine is rooted in classic 70’s singer songwriter pop. Wisely has a cadence like James Taylor here, but the rich melody and backing make the opener “Who Am I?” a sure-fire hit.
“Starting Today” is another gem with sweet harmonies, and “Never Before” has subtle strings and lyrically falls into Gilbert O’Sullivan territory. Wisely’s “Oblivious” is a note perfect pop ballad and Kelly Jones “He’ll Never Know Me” is the jazzy answer to the narrative. Each musician helps make this LP a success. Foxs’ songwriting is very much like Andrew Gold, albeit with a modern POV. Many great songs here — it makes my Top Ten list for 2013 easily! A delectable slice of adult piano pop heaven.