Too Much Saturn “Moving Forward Sideways”
This band played at Chicago’s IPO this year, consisting of Mark Hoffman (guitar/vocals), Chris Cerasoli (keys/vocals), Russ Spice (guitar/vocals), Guy Sheldon (bass/vocals), and Dave Franco (drums). The debut is full of spunky attitude and melodic hooks, with a sound somewhere in between The Lemonheads and The Barenaked Ladies.
“Photogenic” is a first rate power pop single, along the lines of The Rubinoos with an emphasis on guitars and fun. “Walter Cronkite” and “What is Your Plan?” gives us jerky synth and riff combos that recall The Cars, but the standout for me is “Funny” with its inventive arrangement and great guitar solo midway through. It ends well with a bright cover of The Monkees’ “Daydream Believer.” Lots of talent and potential here, so give it a chance.
Anny Celsi “January”
After his Celsi blew me away with her last album, she takes a step back and delivers a more polished adult oriented album. With a gallery of talented friends (Adam Marsland, Rich McCulley, Nelson Bragg, etc.) Annys’ talent shines through each track. The light bouncy melody of “Au Revoir, My Darling” owes much to the classic 60’s hits, like “You Can’t Hurry Love.” The breezy “Travelogue” is a soothing bit of folk pop as we search for “music to take us home,” the soft harmonies are really sweet. “Ghosts In The Room” has a country feel, and the slow ballad “Oh Baby, Is The Circus In Town” is beautifully descriptive, as it sets the mood perfectly. As finely crafted as it is, some of the songs didn’t stick with me. The last several tracks are more winter themed, like the orchestrated ballad “Wait” and the lap steel beauty of “Christmas in The Pines.” Fans of Paul Simon, or Norah Jones will also love much of this pop mellowness.