The Cool Whips “Goodies”
I have to give credit to The Cool Whips for trying to revive the lost art of classic Bubblegum pop. In its heyday of the late ’60s, it captured the pre-teen music market with light faux Beatles influenced melodies about candy, games and that prepubescent crush on the playground. Unfortunately today’s kids are light years away from those innocent times, artists like One Direction and Demi Lovato are just as overtly sexualized as adult pop stars (even if it’s in a PG-rated lyric). So I guess this type of music is more for us oldsters who remember that era and are willing to bathe in nostalgia.
Opening with “Tickle Me,” its coming straight from the Kasenetz-Katz playbook crica 1972, sounding like The Banana Splits or 1910 Fruitgum Company with bright shiny chords and go-go beats. “On The See Saw” is another perfect example about a schoolyard fantasy lyric; “I’m gonna make her mine, as quickly as I can/First I gotta grow up and turn into a man.” The melodies are good, standouts being “Lost In The Summertime” and an Archie’s tribute “Boom Shang-a-lang.” Liberal use of the Farfisa organ on “She Did A Number On Me” is fine, but if you are looking for any modern spins of the genre you’ll have to look elsewhere. For me, its good in small doses.
The Furious Seasons “My Love Is Strong”
It took a while for me to warm up to this very eclectic band. Opening with “Southern Night,” it’s a thrilling rock-pop composition sounding like Neil Diamond singing lead for The Eagles. The band is fronted by David Steinhart, assited by Bob Gannon (drums), Jeff Steinhart (bass), and Eric Marin (keyboards) who takes a soulful approach to the songs, with harmonies and acoustic guitar flourishes. You’ll also hear influences ranging from Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty to The Hooters, on the follow up “Understood.”
Despite all these varied connections, the Furious Seasons sound is uniquely theirs.
Songs range in emotion from haunting folk ballads, to inventive catchy pop. Some of the latter includes the bouncy “Fooled By The Bottle” and “Full Disclosure.” Some descriptive lyrics make the love song “Valentine” elevated beyond the ordinary. And it sometimes has that rich sweeping sound on “Wind Blown,” either way this is a band that deserves to be heard. You may really like them.