Zach Jones “Love What You Love”
Portland native Zach Jones is an extremely versatile musician with an encyclopedic knowledge of late British Invasion and Motown artists. His fifth album is loaded with catchy harmonies and hooks, the opener “Everything’s Fine” is a sweet amalgam of soul and pop strongly reminiscent of Todd Rundgren’s Something/Anything period. “Hate What You Hate” is a poetic mantra played on a dance hall piano, with a very Kinks-like sing-along chorus. “Away From You” is another strong melody rooted in ’70s classic soul. Jones high tenor stands alone on the sparse “Song in The Sunshine” and “Nothing’s Changed” reminding me of David Gates(Bread) in spots.
The rock guitar riffs lead “Lucky One” and “Some Other Day,” both are very Big Star-like compositions, so there is plenty of variety throughout the album to keep you interested and listening to the end. No filler to be found here, but the albums first half boasts the strongest songs. Zach has the support of a cast of orchestral players and percussionists that also give the album a rich, full sound. I hope we hear more music from him like this. Highly Recommended. Bonus: Check out Zach doing an excellent cover of Brian Wilson’s “Love and Mercy” Here.
The Unswept “The Unswept Today!”
Chicago band The Unswept continues its heart felt love affair with classic pop sounds on its sophomore LP. Charlie and Ryan O’Brien are British transplants who brilliantly recreate those retro arrangements and harmonies. “Super Sad” is a jangle-tastic single here, the catchy hand-clapping gem “Peace of Mind” is next and the ballad “Please, Please Look My Way” is all about stalking a pretty dept. store associate. Fans of Byrdsian Rickenbacker guitar will enjoy most of the short songs here, and a special tribute to a favorite band “Surf Song (I Wish I Was a Beach Boy),” is here just in time for summer.