Interesting sound bytes coming from Internet
Over the past several months since Pop Stops has been available online, Iíve received e-mails from people all over the world. Not surprisingly, Iíve also received some independent releases from bands.This column spotlights the albums by web savvy artists Iíve listened to lately.
When you hear The Rolling Stones "Wild Horses" or Rod Stewartís "Every Picture Tells A Story" or Elton Johnís "Levon," do you get all nostalgic and wish they still made music like that? Well, they do. Or at least, Michael Lord does. Thatís not too surprising, since Lord has served as a keyboardist for many well known classic rock acts, and brings in fellow session men whoíve worked with Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Simple Minds and more to back him up.
The result is a professional quality album thatís peppered with female background singers providing the la-la-laís to Lordís gritty soul vocals. The songs are piano-based, but with splashes of retro organ, Ď70s twang rock guitar and even a sax here and there. Itís a bit backwards-leaning for me, but if youíve a hankering for early Ď70s soulful rock, you should seek this one out.
(from 5632 Van Nuys Blvd. Suite 122, Van Nuys, CA 91604, e-mail: email@example.com or visit the website at http: //home.earthlink.net/~mlord/
A few months ago I reviewed a wonderful solo album, Palookaville from one-time Styx member Glen Burtnick. Well a couple months ago, a Swedish Pop Stops reader clued me in that there was another Burtnick album available, distributed through Scandinavian lable MTM. Said reader went on to get that disc forwarded to me.
Retrospectacle serves to reclaim a couple of songs Burtnick gave to Styx ó his version of "Love Is The Ritual" (which appeared on Styxís Edge of the Century album) appears here sounding almost exactly like the Styx version. And Styxís James Young released the techno-funky "Love (and Love Alone)" on his last solo album; it appears here as well.
The rest of the disc is, as the name suggests, material that Burtnick has had around for a while, songs written for his unreleased third A&M solo album in the Ď80s, songs aimed for Styx and other groups. For fans of mid-tempo, hooky pop rock, Burtnick is a must-hear. His "Sometimes Love Just Ainít Enough" was a major hit for Patty Smyth, and several of this discís tracks sound like radio hits as well.
(For ordering info, visit the labelís web site at: http://www.pi.se /mtm/albums.html or write MTM SWEDEN at Upplandsgatan 17c, 1tr, S-11360 Stockholm, Sweden. Tel.: +46-8-33 82 70 / Fax: +46-8-32 86 02)
Julie Ann Bailey
Words Keep Falling
A Wisconsin native whoís recorded ad jingles and songs in both Minneapolis and Chicago with members of The Rembrandts and Princeís New Power Generation, Bailey is a smooth-voiced crooner who sometimes gets comparisons to Rosanne Cash. Iíd tag Nancy Griffithís more pop-oriented side as a touchstone as well.
"Words Keep Falling," with its easy ambling guitar strums is a fast ear-winner, and "Like A Fever" demonstrates Baileyís penchant for slick piano ballads. Much of this album has an Ď80s production sheen to it, especially the tracks with synthesizers and electronic percussion. Itís a strong first release, and well worth adding to your "easy listening" CD collection.
(From Soap Box, 317 Vincent, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, 54024/715-483-1758 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
(Skeptical Cat Recordings)
I've had this disc for quite awhile, but I wanted to mention it for fans of quirky rock. Sounding a bit like They Might Be Giants with a Jellyfish wish, Dayton, Ohioís Skeptical Cats meld a host of musical styles and a flurry of instruments to create the 14-song Record Record. While they donít ever reach the pinnacle of enervating humor-pop of the Giants or Jellyfish, thereís something to be said for their musical risk-taking.
(From 2517 California Ave., Dayton, Ohio 45419/E-mail email@example.com or visit the web site at: http://www.erinet.com/musnick/)