Rob Bonfiglio and Jim Noir

Rob Bonfiglio “Mea Culpa”
Bonfiglio (Wanderlust) continues to expand his sound from his debut. This time his combination of pop and rock influences are more varied, the opener “The Message” still has roots in the 70’s  and 80’s but the key changes and melodic bridges bring out the songs hopeful inspiration.

“Eyes On The Prizes” has a fantastic Lindsey Buckingham styled rhythm and chorus. “Just What You Are” channels Lenny Kravitz and “Fooled Myself” could be a lost Steve Eggers tune. No filler anywhere here and plenty of soulful adult pop included with those rock and roll riffs. His wife’s band Wilson Philips looks like it rubbed off a bit more on this album, with more harmonies and clearer background vocals. Overall a great LP that makes my new best of 2013 list.

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Jim Noir  “Jimmy’s Show”
Noir takes the best of 60’s Carnaby Street pop and updates it with melodic magic on his past albums, taking the listener on a journey through a psychedelic side show carnival. It’s unfortunate that Noir seems to be musically loitering on Jimmy’s Show. It starts out pleasantly enough with “The Tired Hairy Man With Parts,” a sweet Kinks slice of English life. “Tea” is another good standout, with its manta-like verses “I just want a cuppa tea” and its choral harmonies.

However, many songs seem unfinished sketches dragged out to full length. “Sunny” and “Driving My Escort Cosworth To The Cake Circus” both stay in the same key and feel like filler. “JCC Sports” is cute re-do of Nilsson’s “Coconut” and the Beta Band influence is felt on “The Cheese of Jims Command” and “Old Man Cyril.” Its still essential listening if you’re in the mood for classic English pastoral pop. I guess I expected more from Jim, instead of paint-by-numbers nostalgia.

Artist website | Amazon

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