I received several comments about the order of my Top 25 list for last year...and I started second guessing myself. So I went back and listened to my list. What a great year in Power Pop it was! I also confirmed my top choice.
For me the new effort by Mark Bacino takes top honors. Queen's English"" is simply the best written and fully realized Power Pop project of 2010. Mark successfully channels 1960s and 1970s American pop tradition into present day. I hear lots of Harry Nilson references. Lots of Beatles and Beach Boys influenced tunes. The album is beautifully arranged with nice brass and strings throughout. It also sounds great too. Mark has a business in music production and has turned it up on his own project. If you regularly check-in with this blog and don't have this album, stop right now and go get it!
Some of the highlights. "Queens English" is nice rocker recalling "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting". "Happy" is the first of three tracks influenced by Harry Nilson. (Harry seems like a big influence on Mark.) "Muffin in the Oven" sounds like Owsley's "Uncle John's Farm" (which always sounded like "Saturday in the Park" by Chicago to me.) "Camp Elmo" is the second of the Harry Nilson type tracks. "Angeline and the Bensonhurst Boy" is another of my favorites. A nice mitempo shuffle with a great Jellyfish-style refrain. "Bridge & Tunnel" is the third Nilson style track. "Blue Suit" a sleeper and another favorite of mine. It's an acoustic Bossa Nova number that sounds like some of the more recent efforts by Nashville band, Swandive
All and all a great album! Can't get enough. Here are some demos and commercial jingles from Mark that helped complete my collection: (Recently Re-Upped)
Down to the River
(Love Theme From) Shark
Camp Elmo (Live Acoustic)
Listening to the Band
Lighter Than Air
(Do the) Julie
Mark has posted liner notes for the compilation at his blog. Thanks Mark for letting us post this!