The big stars of rock/indie (some with power pop leanings) have come out of the woodwork this year and here are mini-reviews of some that I follow. If you missed it check out Part 1 of this.
Ben Folds “So There” – Ben has slowly made his journey from piano popster to orchestral composer. He addresses this change on the poignant “Not A Fan.” But he still can make thrilling pop music buried under all those strings. Some good songs, but he eventually he goes to the full Concerto. At least Danny Elfman did it on separate albums. Listen to: “Phone in A Pool”, “Yes Man” Get it here.
The Fratellis “Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied” – Huge shift in sound for the band; if you’re looking for another “Chelsea Dagger” go elsewhere. The grander, more dramatic “Me and The Devil” and “Baby Don’t Lie To Me” sound a little like Supergrass. “Thief” is another standout here, and the funk bass on the circus-like “Dogtown” keeps it interesting. Unfortunately, it doesn’t consistently hit the mark. A good album, but it needed editing to make it great. Get it here.
Bryan Adams “Get Up” – The amazing Jeff Lynne does for Adams what he did for Roy Orbison; making him relevant to audiences again. Adams gets the full Wilbury treatment here with great catchy singles like “Go Down Rockin” and “That’s Rock and Roll.” Plus amazing ballads like “We Did It All” takes advantage of Adams sandpaper-vocal delivery. Its easy to see why Absolute Power Pop blog added this to his top ten. Proof Lynne always has the magic touch (with other artists.) Get it here.
Sleater-Kinney “No Cities To Love” – Legendary punk all-girl band returns. It’s a little more structured, less grungy, a decent reunion that delivers plenty of radio friendly songs that will appeal to the indie pop crowd. Bitching about the state of affairs on “Price Tag”,”Surface Envy,” and the catchy “A New Wave” are highlights. Old fans will note it doesn’t reach the highs of 2008’s The Woods, but that’s okay – it’s a great starting point for new fans. Get it here.