Permanent Press (PPCD 52716)
simply no damned hope for pop music anymore. It's an unfortunate fact of
life nowadays that the vision of pop music championed by fans of melodic
rock n' roll is rarely actually popular. Reviled by smug critics who
wouldn't know a decent hook if it roughed 'em up and left 'em for dead and
ignored by an indifferent public that simply doesn't know, pure pop has
become, incongruously, a cult taste. It's being played to an insular
audience that can't fathom why this stuff isn't as massively popular as its
proud POP! label implies it should be. It means that a lot of fine pop
records, eminently worthy of a wider audience, remain largely unheard by all
but a discerning few of the faithful.
debut album Spklanng!, the Toronto-based group shows an easy command of
classic pop style, without seeming the least bit retro. Originally issued in
Canada last year (the U.S. version differs by two tracks) , the deceptively
mild-mannered Spklanng! fights a never-ending battle for truth , justice and
the rockin' -pop way. At the risk of belaboring the comic-book analogy, it
must be said that The Supers' efforts border on the heroic.
radio:while that could certainly be interpreted as a slam, given CHR's
current penchant for bland boy "bands," "Secret" is a perfectly inviting,
mid-tempo gem that merits some serious mainstream airplay. "Turn," "I Don't
Want to Sleep" and "A Stitch in Time" are similarly radio-ready, with
"Turn", in particular adding considerable oomph to the mix. "So Many Crooks,
" "Luck and Skill" and "Pill", while perhaps not ideal singles, add to the
overall vibe of a pleasant, engaging record that anyone with a fondness for
hooks 'n' harmonies would want to investigate.
play of "Only You" and "1+1=3" slows the proceedings down to a sleepwalk.
But even "Only You" has a subtle undercurrent of buoyancy that lifts it
above Backstreet Boys status. It's enough to restore your faith in pop
music. Maybe it's even enough to restore the pop to popular music. Get these
guys on the radio, where they belong.