Daily Archives: May 27, 2009

126. Call and Response – “Call and Response”

You may recall my rant about bubblegum pop back a few weeks back. The basic premise was that it better be light yet sticky.

call-and-response album coverThese Californians are chasing that elusive goal.  And for a few tracks they reach said nirvana.

They tackle the task with suitable tools.  Up front is a bouncy and full bass-line.  The melodies emanate from a mix of organs, Hammond and the like.  The sound is lush. The vocals are breathy, mainly female, with some effete bloke harmonising on occasion.

The lyrical content is appropriate.  The first two tracks: Blowin’ Bubbles and Rollerskating. Get the picture?  These two tracks are the pick of the bunch by a fair margin, however.  They’ve been gyrating around my cerebral cortex all day long.

The novelty wears off pretty quickly after those two tune though. In the end this is the sort of thing Belle and Sebastian might produce if there were less folks in the band, and if they ultimately weren’t miserable Scots. Its all very happy.  It lacks the slight perversity or sarcasm of the B&S, The Brunettes, or even the Lucksmiths.

Take this CD if already happy. Otherwise it will cloy for sure.

File under: Diabetics beware

As simple as A, B…

So, after 101 reviews (plus a few sundry catch-ups) I have knocked off the “Bs” in my collection. It has been a long, but pleasurable journey through the outer reaches of the rock, funk, folk, blues, world music, Danish hip hop, and even spoken word, galaxies.

I look forward to now launching into a whole new world of Cs. But before doing so, I though I’d just take this chance to cobble together some reflective rankings:

Firstly, remembering back to the “As”, here are the top 5:

  1. Lily Allen – “Alright, still…”
  2. The Audreys – “Between Last Night and Us”
  3. Ryan Adams – “Heartbreaker”
  4. Ryan Adams – “Gold”
  5. Lily Allen – “It’s Not Me, It’s You”

So a mix of pop and alt-country, and dominated by voices of the female variety.

Turning to “B”, here’s the top 10:

  1. The Black Keys – “Rubber Factory”
  2. The Beastie Boys – “Paul’s Boutique”
  3. James Brown – “Star Time Disk Two”
  4. Buffalo Tom – “Let Me Come Over”
  5. James Brown – “Star Time Disk Three”
  6. Dan Brodie and The Broken Arrows – “Empty Arms, Broken Hearts”
  7. James Brown – “Star Time Disk One”
  8. Billy Bragg – “Back to Basics”
  9. Solomon Burke – “Don’t Give Up On Me”
  10. The Breeders – “Last Splash”

Looks like funk/soul and bluesy rock win out, and there’s only a little bit of love for the ladies. And wow, I really did dig that James Brown box set. The world got a whole rockier in the B section (thankfully) and I uncovered a few gems I hadn’t heard in years. What will C bring?

For the dorky stats-minded amongst you, the most visited reviews are:

  1. Lily Allen – “Alright, still…”
  2. Björk – “Post”
  3. The Beach Boys – “Pet Sounds
  4. Beck – “Mellow Gold
  5. The Beastie Boys – “Solid Gold Hits”

With a bullet are the reviews of Bright Eyes, and the Breeders.