Various Artists “Power Pop from the Garage”
For the music connoisseur, this is like finding gold buried under the beach sand. If you think you know Power Pop, then Australian label Zero Hour Records will challenge you with 22 obscure tracks from some rare Aussie bands from 1974 to 1986. All of them were local bands that probably never got international play beyond the Indian Ocean, but well worth listening to. The American/UK power pop influence is clear, one of the tracks Beathoven’s “Do You Remember The Time” rips off Badfinger’s “No Matter What” in the chorus and the ELO production style is all over Chris Pelcer “Can’t Find Reverse.”
Yes, there are “shoulda-been” hits in this collection (Heartbeats “Don’t Want Romance” and Turnarounds “Let’s Do It”), as well as examples of dated 80’s production (The Orphans’ “See You”). This great collection is hampered by sound quality on a few tracks that really could use some re-mastering. But considering that we have no clue if master tapes even exist, I’d still want to hear these rare pop gems.
Zero Hour Records (exclusive)
Kylie Odetta “Waiting Game”
Now a diversion from the usual power pop review: Kylie Odetta is soulful singer/songwriter who’s talent is easy on the ears and eyes. R&B pop is her stock in trade here even though she blends other genres in her music. “Waiting Game” is a slow start, but things pick up with “Can’t Handle That” an energetic percussive march that highlights Kylie’s vocals – it reminded me a bit of Kate Miller Heidke.
Her sweetness comes through on the ballad “One Day, Some Day” and “I Just Wanna Feel Love,” but the sweeping dramatic ballads like “My Love” lack the big hooks or distinctive styling to keep me interested. I think the biggest problem may be finding an audience for this loose R&B alternative pop, but Kylie certainly has the vocal talent to make it work.