Here Comes The Reign Again “The Second British Invasion”
After last year’s Tribute to Lite Rock, producer Andrew Curry moved his attention to 1980’s British pop. You get updated takes on era-defining hits by Duran Duran, Human League, Culture Club, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and more. If there is one thing I remember about many of these songs, was a brashness and optimistic defiance that reflected the 1980’s “New Wave” ethos. In today’s era our collective anxiety yields some mixed results, as the mood of some songs tend to be wistful, if not downright melancholy.
Favorites here include Fountains of Wayne singer Chris Collingwood doing “Life In A Northern Town,” and Cliff Hillis improves on “Wouldn’t It Be Good.” I liked the subtleties of Mike Viola’s take on Tears For Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” and Freedy Johnston’s version of Naked Eyes’s “Promises, Promises.” It didn’t quite work for me on Jim Boggia & Pete Donnelly’s “Goody Two Shoes” or Ken Stringfellows’ “Digging Your Scene.” But Rachael Yamagata’s piano ballad of “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” is sung with more pain and emotion than Boy George ever could.
A lot of artists have deliberately gone “low-fi” in direct opposition to the slick production of the past, but there are some faithful approaches featured especially Bleu’s “Don’t You (Forget About Me) and “West End Girls” by Secret Friend. With 27 tracks there is a favorite for everyone, mine included “Dancin’ with Myself” by Taylor Locke and The Corner Laughers “Our House.” Even if some of these songs aren’t as familiar to you, this set is highly recommended.
Ice Cream Man “powerpop and more”
Fellow power pop blogger Wayne Lundqvist Ford has been producing self-contained radio shows for a while now. He has more of a preference for English Mod, Northern Soul and Garage power pop, and he’s got a great ear for the stuff. After 50 shows he’s still going strong, and now he’s gathered samples from a ton of bands and with the help of our friends over at Futureman Records and has made a massive song collection a FREE downloadable treat.
We are talking 64 tracks of music. These are primarily artists who are criminally ignored by main stream radio stations and deserve to be heard, including some of my favorites (Bryan Estepa, Tommy Lorente, Baby Scream, The Solicitors, The Legal Matters and The Turnback – just to name a few). Bravo Ice Cream Man!