Chris Stamey “Euphoria”
The venerable Chris Stamey (dB’s, Sneakers) quietly released this new album full of timeless pop. “Where Does The Time Go?” is phrase you will be saying after repeat listens, as the hook filled melody is surrounded by ascending chords and Beatlesque horns. Stamey’s gift is that he can see new things in compositions that echo the past.
“Make Up Your Mind” is the biggest gem here. It recalls Big Star, all about retirement the lyric states “isn’t it time you quit, its for your own benefit” with an awesome guitar break. The ballad “You Are Beautiful” slowly builds to a full orchestrated composition and “Invisible” is a statement about your insignificance that could be a lost REM hit single. “When The Fever Breaks” is the heaviest rocker here and “Awake in the World” mines those East Indian Beatle-isms George Harrison was best associated with. The album has a great soul-seaching theme for Stamey and its highly recommended.
Mark Britton “Odds and Sodd”
This came out last year, but its worth noting if you have a Beatlesque fetish. Britton delivers several melodic tunes that exemplify power pop. Opening with the windmilling, power riff of “Hearts and Minds” its straight from The Pete Townshend playbook. Then its the McCartney styled piano of “Sally Ann,” with a Beach Boys styled vocal break. “Dear Rosa” is similar, with harpsichord as the main instrument and “Eleanor Rigby” styled strings.
He moves from these basic influences, but the strained lead of “Good Morning Sunshine,” shows Brittons limitations as a vocalist. His guitar also seems to come to life on “Let’s Get Famous,” but its a little too close to Fountain of Wayne’s “Bright Future In Sales.” He takes tired blues detour on “My Friend Foe,” but thankfully comes back with a pair of gems on the psychedelic “Magic Circles” and the charmer “Family Guy.” I’d give this one a few spins on the playlist, overall a positive impression.