Linus of Hollywood “Something Good”

Is is more that “Something Good” — this is something great. We’ve not heard from Linus since 2006 Triangle. And this was worth the wait starting with “Caught Up In A Feeling.” It hits the power pop sweet spot, with hand claps, driving beat and hummable chorus… simply a perfect opener. “Ready For Something Good” starts with a simple Caribbean rhythm, but it quickly builds into a fast-paced song bursting with optimism and a driving chorus, where “a better day is waiting for me.” Linus-land is all bright and shiny here, where you could hook up with “A Girl That I Like,” the anticipation and joy of young romance bounces along the melody line. Much like Wyatt Funderburk’s debut last year (He plays on the opening track!) it effortlessly transforms your mood. “Don’t F**k It Up” adds a bit more guitars and a layered “la la” backing chorus very similar to Squeeze, Linus even sounds like a younger Glen Tilbrook here. You get the sense that in the olden days of the almighty record label they would’ve “cleaned” this lyric, but it expresses the sentiment with genuine emotion.

“Biography” is a mid-tempo guitar song similar in style to Michael Carpenter. It confidently tells the girl that their time together was indelible and “no one will ever love you” as strongly. “Whoever’s Around” is another shimmering gem that has a slight country twang and steel pedal guitar solo with the dense production. The mood shifts to forlorn on “I Don’t Wanna Go Home If Your Not” and a cover of the Kiss ballad “Beth.” Linus has a snappy country-pop duet with Kelly Jones on “If You Don’t Love Me, You Gotta Let Me Go.” The elegant “When It’s Quiet” is another welcome change with strings and rising guitars in the chorus. Every single track here shines, and the variety of tempos, styles and instrumentation prevent this from being too predictable.

Finding a shining example of the genre with all the emotion, catchiness and studio gloss is extremely rare, making this one high atop my 2014 list for best album of the year.