Dana Countryman “Pop3! Welcome to My Time Warp!”
Thank God for Dana Countryman. It’s rare that an artist with his talent and ability devotes himself to the lost art of 70’s styled AM pop, and this is his 3rd and in my opinion, best volume. Countryman is more consistent here, the melodies are better and the shift in styles from song to song are more natural.
Starting with “Every Kiss Reminds Me Of You,” and the following songs are full of sugary sweet romanticism, influenced by Richard Carpenter, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Neil Sedaka and Curt Boettcher. You can play a “spot-the-influence” game, but in a few cases it pulls directly. “Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind” cops the entire percussion section from The Spiral Staircase’s “I Love You More Than Yesterday,” but the bridge to the chorus here is great. “Shari Girl” is a direct sequel to The Four Season’s “Sherry,” and those harmonies are also perfectly spot on.
My favorite song here is the beautiful Beatlesque “Don’t You Know You’ll Break My Heart” with Matt Tyson’s backing harmonies. And Dana rocks out on “24 Hours With You” and “There Goes My Heart Again,” the latter with the hot guitar of Scott McPhereson (Vanilla, Pop4). Overall a great album that deserves multiple listens, its obviously highly recommended.
The New Trocaderos “Thrills and Chills”
Sounding more like a new Connection album (with Kurt Baker added), than anything else “What The Hell Did I Do” and “Love and Hate” feature the familiar frantic tempo and buzzing guitar riff rhythms. “I’m So Bad” is a pub rock tune about a cliche rocker who drinks “more booze than Keith (Richards).” This is fine, as some distinctive tracks stand out like “Like An Angel” and the sing along alcoholic theme “By The Balls.” Its one hell of a party album – so crank it up.
The Baker influence comes through on a few tracks like “Crazy Little Fool” and “She Don’t Know” with a touch of jangle added to each catchy chorus. Musically you get a perfect melding of the Baker-Connection sound on “Oh Boy (Today Is My Birthday).” The band finally breaks the template with the ’50s themed ballad “Love Anymore” a rockabilly croon with a sweet piano solo at the break. Aside from the unremarkable “Midnight Creep” all the songs are killer cuts. Highly Recommended and if you’re not too over saturated, Kurt Has a solo album out as well!