Sunday, December 27, 2015

Top 25 Power Pop Releases of 2015

Well this year flew by and so did December. I'm taking a chance that I'll miss a great one squeaking in under the wire in the last few days of the year, none-the-less, here is my first pass at the top 25 for 2015:

1. Taylor Locke - Time Stands Still
A remarkably coherent record from start to finish. Taylor Lock's first solo record is an homage to 1970's pop. Great songs throughout.  I played this all year. My favorite this year.

2. Caddy - The Better End
The latest effort from Norwegian popper Tomas Dahl is a stunner and transcends his previous punkier efforts.   This one slows down and takes us beyond the Teenage Fanclub references to an album that stands up to constant listening.  Beautiful songs with great arrangements.

3. Pugwash - Play This Intimately as If Among Friends
The latest by Thomas Walsh and the crew is wonderful even if it was unexpectedly mellow. Still Pugwash seems to be able to do no wrong. One of the years best - as usual!

4. Adam Levy - Naubinway
The first solo effort from the Honeydogs singer songwriter Adam Levy is dedicated to his son, who took his own life. But to be sure Naubinway is a wonderful life-affirming record. Great melodies abound even as Levy works through the tragedy.

5. Reno Bo - Lessons From a Shooting Star
The sophomore effort by Nashville based singer Reno Bo is a classy rocker with good variety.   At different times, the album sounds like Dave Edmunds, Tom Petty or Tommy Keene. Loved this one.

6. Steve Robinson and Ed Woltil - Cycles
The duet record from former Ditchflower Ed Woltil and British guitar player Steve Robinson is a triumph, full of pastoral songs that recall late era XTC.  Great throughout.

7. Michael Carpenter - The Big Radio
I don't get why this record is supposed to be Michael Carpenter's "last" album.  He is still in top form and this one is one of his best..  Solid roots rock with poppy touches at a new high level.  Say it isn't so Michael!

8. Cloud Eleven - Record Collection
It's been 9 years since the last record from Rick Gallego.  Just like each of the four efforts that precedes it, this one is full of smooth poppy tunes that sound like summer (think the beach boys).  Glad to hear a new one from Rick.

9. Secret Trees - Till We Find Ourselves
I always love to come upon new albums by new artist and this album is a jewel  The group checks an obvious influence by covering Tears for Fears.  Amazing production for a such a new band.

10. Jared Lekites and The Lunar Laugh - Apollo
The new duet project by Jared Lekite and partner Connor Anderson is a step change from the earlier efforts from Lekites.  The songs are great and recording is stellar.   I added the singles that Jared released this year to fortify the short album.

11. The Maureens - Bang The Drum
This second album by the Dutch pop gains unexpected depth.  The first album sounded like a Swedish Power Pop album from the 90s.  This one adds lots of harmony vocals and evokes a 70's soft rock vibe.  Very nice.

12. The Grip Weeds - How I Won the War
The latest album by prolific New Jersey psych popsters rocks.  This band keeps getting better and better.

13. Chris Stamey - Euphoria
Stamey's last album "Lovesick Blues" was a quiet chamber pop affair but this latest one is as nakedly poppy as anything he's done in his long career.

14. Coke Belda  - Nummer Zwei
The most "Swedish" of Power Pop albums comes from Germany this year.  Coke Belda solicited help from former Merrymaker David Myhr.   A very good idea and a very good album.

15. Tommy Keene - Laugh In The Dark
I don't know how often we say that "Tommy Keene is back" but this album is as good as anything he's ever done. Great classic Power Pop from Tommy as usual.

16. Brandon Schott - Crayons and Angels
Brandon Schott has produced a great album that channel his pure chamber pop vocals in a number of settings.

17. The Nines - Night Surfer and the Cassette Kids
Interesting direction by Steve Eggers.  It sounds like he's been listening to his old copy of XTC's Black Sea.  Punkier than before, Egger's can't help but pen great songs whatever the setting.  I also liked the two EPs that The Nines put out.

18. Kurt Baker - Play It Cool
Our favorite Maine based rocker has a new collection of 3 minute gems - and its very good.  No one does this type of thing better.

19. Michael Sherwood & Christian Nesmith  - Groovy Lemon Pie
Evidently this album has been in process for several years.   It is dense and full of dramitic Power Pop. Very ambitious through messy at times, this one tries to channel Jellyfish.

20. Elvyn - Valley of the Kilowatt Hour
Though its been 5 years since Elvyn's last album the Canadian band is in fine form.   This one has a Fountains of Wayne vibe.

21. Greg Pope - Fanboy
A new one by Greg Pope promises rockin' pop fun. This one does not disappoint.

22. Three Hour Tour - Action and Heroes
It's great to hear a new one from Champaign Illinois rockers.   This album rocks hard though the chord patterns recall the Beatles less this time.

23. Jimmy Haber - Joy Acid Pact
I really liked this psychedelic rave up.  Lots of fun.  A new power pop dance party by a Beatles and Who fan.  This one shows some real development compared to his last.

24. The Junior League - Also Rans
Though I wasn't expecting such a rockin effort from Joe Adragna since his last effort was more subdued.   A true return to form.  Nice effort with novel chord patterns.

25. Ryan Hamilton - Hell Of a Day
Though Wyatt Funderburk issued an odds and sods compilation this year, we didn't get any new material.   However Wyatt used his talents to produce the solo effort by Ryan Hamilton.   "Hell of a Day" has a similar vibe to Wyatt's work with slick production and Fountains of Wayne tongue and cheek pop tunes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Catching Up With KC Bowman

Time to check in with Blog favorite KC Bowman.  KC has spent the last four years involved in a new set of projects; the Agony Aunts, Pop4 and the Corner Laughers. in those projects KC writes and performs but often takes a back seat on vocals.  

Even as he has supported these other projects, KC has continued to cut his own tracks, recently concentrating on covering tunes by others.  He's been kind enough to post these as a series of free downloads but I've included a compilation of the tracks for a concentrated listen.  Dive into the special world of KC Bowman.  Always great fun.

1 Optimist John
2 Old Trope Academy
3 Geishas
4 Don't Be Shy (Cat Stevens Cover)
5 Twenty-Four Meransers (Twirl Radio Mix of Agony Aunts Track)
6 The Brakes of Your Brain
7 Smothered in Hugs (Guided By Voices Cover)
8 Delusions
9 Super 8 (Jason Isbell Cover)
10 Ponciest Pilot
11 Somebody Wants to Love You (Partridge Family Cover)
12 The Super Bad Report (Soft Buttrock Reboot)
13 Medical Time
14 Fool in the Rain
15 Talk "Til It Rhymes
16 Let's Be Still (The Head and The Heart Cover)
17 Helium (Does The Rest)
18 Enlightens Sevens
19 Canada USA
20 Tractor Rape Chain
21 Joy (Phish Cover)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Acoustic Mann

My October post is a compilation of acoustic tracks by Aimee Mann. Most of these tracks were recorded early in Aimee's solo career during the early 1990s, a time when she was co-writing songs with Jon Brion and Jules Shear.   In my opinion, they are some of Aimee's best and benefit from these stripped down arrangements.   The initial bunch were taken from a bonus CD that accompanied the German release of Whatever.  Waiting for the next Aimee Mann release....

1 I Should've Known
2 Say Anything
3 Stupid Thing
4 That's Just What You Are
5 The Other End (Of The Telescope)
6 Sugarcoated
7 I've Had It
8 Put Me On Top
9 Voices Carry
10 Fifty Years After The Fair
11 Save Me
12 Freeway
13 Ghost World
14 4th of July
15 Little Bombs
16 Could've Been Anyone
17 Girls Talk

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Buddy Judge Sampler

Buddy Judge is an enigmatic figure in the history of Power Pop. Perhaps best known as one of the three singers in the Power Pop supergroup the Grays, Buddy's first recording was in 1988 with his band "The Buddy System". in 1994, he joined forces with Jason Falkner, Jon Brion and Dan McCarroll to form the short lived supergroup "the Grays".   The Grays sole album "Ro Sham Bo" is a personal favorite of mine and of many Power Pop fans.  After the breakup of the Grays, Buddy released his one and only solo album "Profiles in Clownhenge" a quirky concept album about clowns and the circus, scored replete with tubas and calliopes. (Actually though a weird concept, the album is wonderful and well worth looking for.)

Buddy spends the later half of the nineties as an indispensable sideman for Aimee Mann and Michael Penn among others.  He worked with Aimee on her Bachelor No. 2 and Magnolia albums and becomes interested in scoring movies and TV.  And that's what he's been concentrating on since then.   Most recently he seems (along with Jim Boggia) to have been caught up in the burgeoning Power Pop Ukulele scene(!) and he co-leads the The Ukulele Orchestra of the Western Hemisphere group.

Below is a long standing project to incorporate some of the most fun incidental instrumental music from Buddy's along with some rare tracks from his long career.   I've included some of the extra tracks at the end of Buddy's "Profiles in Clownhenge" solo record along with some solo and group demo tracks by Buddy and the Grays.   Loyal Gray fans probably have most of these tracks but perhaps will enjoy the (relatively) new solo tune from 2012 along with the soundtrack material incorporated.  For those new to Buddy, there are lots of great songs to enjoy.  Let's hope we get another installment of great music from this talented musician.

1 Vision - Bonus track from "Profiles in Clownhenge"
2 Just Another Girl - Bonus track from "Profiles in Clownhenge"
3 Flower Girl - Soundtrack Instrumental from "Flower Girl"
4 The Alt-Waltz - Soundtrack Instrumental
5 I Found You - From 2012 "Mother's Day" single
6 It's a Picnic  - Soundtrack instrumental From "According to Spencer"
7 Beautiful People - Bonus track by The Buddy System
8 Animal Spy Jazz - Soundtrack instrumental
9 Oh Nevermind - Single from "The Buddy System"
10 The Levy Waltz - Soundtrack instrumental from "Sir! No Sir!"
11 Complicated - B-Side Rolling Stones cover by the Grays
12 Nothing - Grays demo track
13 This is Forever - Soundtrack instrumental from "Flower Girl"
14 A Perfect Day - Extra track from "Profiles in Clownhenge"
14 In The Bath - Soundtrack instrumental from "Disturbing the Peace"
16 Everybody's World - Demo version
17 Sitting Curbside - Soundtrack instrumental from "According to Spencer"
18 Oh Nevermind - Outtake grays version
19 Nothing - Grays acoustic version
20 Umbrella Dancers - Soundtrack instrumental From "Certifiably Jonathan"
21 Complicated - Live version of Stones track by the Ukulele Orchestra of the Western Hemisphere
22 We Are Going to the Hukilau - Solo Ukulele track

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Eric Matthews - Lids, Nails, and Screws

Exciting news last year that Eric Matthews had added his Chamber Pop talents to the cross continental collaboration project Sheloom.  The idea of Eric working with multi-instrumentalist Jordon Zadorozny (the mastermind behind Blinker the Star) and Italian singer Filippo Gaetani promises great things.

The new threesome produced one terrific Eric track and as these things often go, the new album promised for 2014 has yet to materialize.   Until that time, I've put together my second Eric rarities compilation (I've re-upped the first).  Thanks to Mick and Eric himself for sharing many of these tracks.

1 It Takes a Wrecking Ball - New (as yet unreleased) Sheloom track featuring Eric on vocals
2 Too Old to Fall in Love - From R. Stevie Moore Tribute "Best of 'Copy Me': RSM Tribute Project"
3 We're Open Tonight - Unreleased Paul McCartney cover
4 Exactly Like Them - Track from unreleased album "Too Much World"
5 Stellar Stranger - Japanese bonus track from "The Lateness of the Hour"
6 Lids, Nails, and Screws - B-side of "Fanfare" EP
7 The Big Side of You- Japanese bonus track from "Six Kinds of Passion Looking For an Exit"
8 Shop Girl - Unreleased Instrumental written by Mark Eitzel
9 So Clean - Japanese bonus track from "Six Kinds of Passion Looking For an Exit"
10 Pink - Track from unreleased album "Too Much World"
11 Show Me - Unreleased ABC cover
12 Untitled - Japanese bonus track from "The Lateness of the Hour"
13 A Certain Kind - B-side of "Fanfare" EP
14 Every Christian Lion Hearted Man - Solo demo of Bee Gees cover
15 If We Lived on Top of the Mountain - Pizzicato One track featuring Eric on vocals

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pugwash - Play This Intimately

It's almost time for the new Pugwash album "Play This Intimately (As If Among Friends)" drops on September 4th and its likely to be one of the best of the year.   Not much more that hasn't been said about Thomas and the gang.  Probably the best artists recording Power Pop today.   Everything we've heard from the new album on the Pledgemusic site has been top shelf.  Can't wait - but I've been listening to this live studio session from last year to tide me over.  The recording quality is excellent and it serves as a live "best of" compilation. looking forward to the new one on September 4th.

1 Take Me Away
2 Answers On a Postcard
3 Fall Down
4 Here
5 There You Are
6 Dear Belinda
7 Apples
8 Wait Till The Morning Sunshine
9 The Finer Things in Life
10 Be My Friend in Life
11 It's Nice to be Nice

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cliff Hillis - New EP on the way!

It's great that Cliff Hillis got some real recognition last year for his 'Song Machine" EP.  It made almost everyone's best Power Pop lists for the year and rightfully raised his profile as one of the best singer songwriters working in Power Pop today.  

I'm pleased to report that he is hard at work on another fine EP for release in the fall and if its anything like his last effort, we're in for a treat. Very excited about this one.

In the meantime Cliff has been incredibly generous sharing is work-in-progress on his SoundCloud page.   I've collected a bunch of his most recent demos and have been really enjoying listening to them in this sequence. Some great material here.  I think you'll agree that Cliff's works-in-process are staying true to the high standard he's been setting over the last several years.   Enjoy these and support Cliff when the EP comes out in the fall.

1 Hole In the Bathroom Floor
2 Suzanne, Suzanne
3 Alien Eyes
4 Kindness Speaks
5 West Texas Mist
6 Bound to Fall
7 Wildwood Weekend
8 Devil Undercover
9 Little Big Boy
10 Make You Mine
11 Unhappy Valentine
12 Ill-Advised
13 Jacques Cousteau
14 When I'm 64 (Monkey Version)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Redd Kross Live!

It's summer here and I want to rock....and there is no more rocking band in the world than Redd Kross.   It's been three years since their last album "Researching The Blues", a fine return to form and the band is touring (big tour in Spain this summer) but no new material.    I'm waiting - but I could be waiting a long time.  The last album took 15 years to surface.   Hoping the next one comes soon.   If anyone has any more Redd Kross news let me have it.  In the meantime, I'm listening (loud) to this great live show from 2012 recorded to support "Researching The Blues".  Hope you enjoy and support the band.

1 Linda Blair
2 Stay Away from Downtown
3 Lady in the Front Row
4 Jimmy's Fantasy
5 Uglier
6 Choose to Play
7 Switchblade Sister
8 Pretty Please Me
9 Cover Band
10 Annette's Got the Hits
11 Researching the Blues
12 Frosted Flake
13 Tatum O'Tot and Fried Vegetables
14 Crazy World

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Doug Powell - Tribute Tracks and Demos

Doug Powell has an interesting history. Between 1996 and and 2010, He released 7 full length albums along with a series of high profile side projects.   He played as a member of Todd Rundgren's band and worked on an early version of the "New Cars" reunion project (in which he was ultimately replaced by Todd himself).  He sang lead on a large portion of "Catch-All" the sole album released by the Nashville supergroup "Swag" (also featuring Jerry Dale McFadden  and Robert Reynolds).  More recently Doug has been concentrating on a new career in religious commentary (not my thing). 

Still his Power Pop album output is impressive.   The albums "More" and "Day For Night" are personal faves.   In them he  veers from straight forward power pop songs into more ambitious prog epics.   ("The Apprentice’s Sorcerer" his latest album (from 2010) spends a bit too much time in prog land for me.)  

Doug has always been an insightful interpreter of other people's songs and I've collected a bunch of cover songs from tribute records along with a few early demos.  Hope you like this compilation (by the way completists will note that I'm missing one track "Anyway But Love" from the 1998 Todd Rundgren Tribute "Grok This".   If anyone has that track I'd appreciate the chance to add it to this collection.)  Would love to hear Doug return to his roots sometime soon..

1 She Satisfies - Shoes cover from "Shoe Fetish" tribute compilation
2 When She Awoke - Demo Version
3 Early Morning, Cold Taxi - Who cover by Swag from "The New Sell Out" tribute compilation
4 Love is Like Oxygen - Sweet cover from "Are You Ready, Steve" tribute compilation
5 I Woke Up In Love This Morning - Partridge Family cover from "Right To Chews" bubblegum tribute compilation
6 Water's Part - Let's Active cover from "Every Word" tribute compilation
7 Till I Die - Beach Boys cover from "Making God Smile" tribute compilation
8 Candy-O - Cars cover from "Substitution Mass Confusion" tribute compilation
9 Can't Get It Out Of My Head - ELO cover from "Lynne Me Your Ears" tribute compilation
10 Every Day is Christmas - Swag Christmas track from
11 All The Lights Are Blue - Swag Christmas track from
12 God Bless Us All - 8-track Demo of Christmas track from

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Moonbabies - The Orange Billboard 10th Anniversary Edition

It's almost here.  The new Moonbabies LP "Wizard on the Beach" drops on April 28th.   From what I've heard, the new album projects this blog-favorite duo into a new blissed-out musical orbit.  Its the Moonbabies -  so there are the melodies galore and even as the band re-imagines and updates their sound within a modern context.    It relevant to point out that the Moonbabies haven't released a proper album for 8 years - so no surprise that there have been some shifts in the what the band has been listening to.

In anticipation for the new release, coleader Ola Frick has given me permission to post a few tracks from the rare 10 year anniversary edition of the Moonbabies's sophomore release "The Orange Billboard".   The tracks here are part of special purpose cassette given away to three lucky fans. There are some unreleased songs but there are also a number of radically remixed and redone tunes well known to fans.    Check these out and get ready for the new album due out next month:

1 Intro
2 Field trip USA (Outtake)
3 Sun AM (Demo)
4 In the Banshees
5 Sway
6 Hanky Panky Nohow
7 Loom
8 Crispin Glover (Outtake)
9 Day Breaks
10 Over You
11 MGM
12 Outro

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Shazam - Tribute and Demo Tracks

I miss the Shazam.  One of the best of the early bands signed to Bruce Bodeen's "Not Lame" label,   The Shazam channeled classic 60's rock (The Move, The Who, The Kinks and of course the Beatles) into an updated and relevant rockin' Power Pop sound.  The Shazam were active between 1994 and 2009 and produced four full length albums and one EP, each a classic.   In 2010 lead singer Hans Rotenberry put out a great duo effort with Nashville producer Brad Jones entitled Mountain Jack.  One of the best albums of that year...

I'm hoping for a reunion or simply the next fine effort from Hans Rotenberry.   Until then,  I've collected a set of Shazam studio tracks from various tribute records.   I've also included three tracks from their 1995 demo cassette "Shake 500" not released on subsequent albums.   Enjoy this compilation and let me know about any track's I'm missing.

1 Twilight - Cover of ELO song from "Lynne Me Your "Ears" tribute compilation
2 Is Your Is Mine - Cover of Gene Clark song from " Full Circle" tribute compilation
3 Cool City - Unreleased track from "Here's To All The Misfits" rarities compilation
4 It's Over - Hans Rotenberry and Brad Jones cover Badfinger song from "Come and Get It" tribute compilation
5 Hangin' Around With You - Cover of Shoes song from "Shoe Fetish" tribute compilation
6 Helen Wheels - Cover of Wings song from "Coming Up" Paul McCartney tribute compilation
7 The Concept - Cover or Teenage Fanclub song from "What A Concept" tribute compilation
8 Only Bones - Unreleased track from 1995 Shake 500 cassette demo
9 I Can See for Miles - Cover of Who song from "The New Sell Out" tribute compilation
10 A to B - Unreleased track from 1995 Shake 500 cassette demo
11 Me and You - Unreleased track from 1995 Shake 500 cassette demo
12 Please Please Me - Fake live version of Beatles cover from fan flexi-disc

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pugwash - Tales of the Unexpected (Rare Tracks #4)

It's early 2015 and the big news is that the Irish band Pugwash is hard at work on a new album at the legendary Konk studios and they need your help.  Thomas Walsh and crew are working an active Pledge Music campaign to help defray the cost of producing the new album and anyone reading this blog should chip in and support the effort. No band recording today has produced a more consistent Power Pop catalog than Pugwash. The new album is due out in May and so far Thomas has posted three demos in the protected area within Pledge Music. Each is brilliant (no surprise there).

I can't wait for the new one and pulled together a rarities compilation to listen to in the interimThis compilation features demos and B-sides and a number of demo tracks from Thomas Walsh side project "The Duckworth Lewis Method".  Lots of nice material until the real effort arrives.

I've put three Pugwash rarities compilations together so far, and each time it hits me how superior Pugwash's cast-offs are to the vast majority of material from other artists.  As usual, please let me know if you have any rare Pugwash that I don't have.

1 I Can Hear The Grass Grow (Full Band Cover of the Move)
2 Better That We Dance (B-Side)
3 Ying Yang (B-Side)
4 Fire In My Belly (B-Side)
5 Flatten the Hay (Nice Duckworth Lewis Method Acoustic Demo)
6 Tales of the Unexpected (B-Side)
7 Tinsel and Marizpan (Acapella Version)
8 Gentlemen and Players (Duckworth Lewis Method Demo)
9 Test Match Special (Duckworth Lewis Method Demo)
10 The Stoolie (Instrumental Demo)
11 The Age of Revolution (Duckworth Lewis Method Demo)
12 Ireland Ireland (Duckworth Lewis Non-Album Single)
13 To the Warmth of You (Acoustic Version)
14 Julianne
15 Everybody's Gottla Learn Sometimes (Duckworth Lewis Method covers The Korgi's)
16 Can't Get It Out Of My Head (Thomas sings over ELO instrumental track)
17 Answers On a Postcard (Acoustic Version)
18 Good Night Christmas (Acapella version of Thomas repurposing The Beatle's Good Night)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top 25 Power Pop Releases of 2014

No releases from Jason Falkner, Roger Manning or Pugwash this year.  Still in balance, a nice set of Power Pop releases.  Here are my top 25 for 2014:

1. The Dowling Poole - Bleak Strategies
The most impressive release of the year.  Willie Dowling takes the power pop chops he displayed with Jackdaw4 to new heights with new partner John Poole.  I hear echos of Jellyfish and XTC in this one.  Great!

2. Linus of Hollywood - Something Good
A perfect summer confection from Linus. Great tunes.  Great production.  Not a bad tune on this fine album.  Can we have another one Linus?

3. Mothboxer - Sand and the Rain
A somewhat more introverted effort from Dave Ody than previous Mothboxer albums, this album still has an intoxicating mix of Beach Boys style ballads along with XTC style prog pop rockers.  This band helps me get over the break up of Electric Soft Parade.

4. Cliff Hillis - Song Machine
I know this is actually an EP but its a long one and Cliff is generous releasing bonus tracks to supplement.    A nice song cyle from Cliff that really hangs together.   Very nice effort.

5. Fauna Flora - Fauna Flora
The return to recording from former Cherry Twister headman Steve Ward was a big deal for me.   This is a great effort featuring Steve's soothing voice.  Wonderful tunes and great production.

6. Rob Bonfiglio - Freeway
This is my favorite solo record.from the former Wanderlust and Skies of America singer    Some great power pop anthems here with fewer light rock throwaway tracks.

7. The Legal Matters - The Legal Matters
The Michigan based power pop supergroup features the talents of Andy Reed, Chris Richards and Keith Klingensmith.   No surprise that there are great songs galore on this one.  Loved this one.

8. The Nines - Nine Lives
So we've heard some of these songs before but hey its the Nines.  Always a cause for celebration when there is a new one from Steve Eggers and the Nines.

9. Rick Hromadka - Tripping Dinosaurs
Rick Hromadka has lead a series of bands starting with Double Naught Spies, Maple Mars and Ruby Free.  This solo effort demonstrates that whatever the vehicle, he channels great pop of the sixties.

10. Charles Jenkins and the Zhivagos - Too Much Water Under the Bridge
The new effort from former Icecream Hands vocalist Charles Jenkins brings back the Power Pop after his last more folky effort. 

11. The Jigsaw Seen - Old Man Reverb
This may be the best Jigsaw Seen album since 2000's Zenith.  Nice tunes from the retro psychedelic band.

12. Evil Arrows - Evil Arrows 1,2,3 and 4
The four EP's from Bryan Scary's latest project more than equal's an album in my book. Quite a grab bag of catchy quirky tunes.  Lots of gems here.

13. Sunday Sun - We Let Go
Probably the slickest release on this list. The first official release from the Dutch band.   Nice pop from this up and coming band.

14. Lannie Flowers - Live in NYC
This album functions as a "best of" for the Texas based Power Popper.   Even if you don't know Lannie Flowers, you'll get it after listening to this effort.  Great sound quality too!

15. Lapland - Lapland
I loved this quiet poppy effort from Brooklyn based songwriter Josh Mease. Sleeper album of the year.  It creeps up on you.

16. Edward O'Connell - Vanishing Act
Edward O'Connell comes up with another Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello influenced song cycle.   More great songs.

17. The Paul and John  - Inner Sunset
Some amazing tunes amongst some more ordinary tunes.   Personal favorite track is "Everything Comes Together".

18. Aerial - Why Don't They Teach Heartbreak at School
Perhaps the best album this year in the "Teenage Fanclub school" of power pop.

19. The Tangerines - Turn On The Light
Perhaps the best album this year in the "Swedish school" of power pop.

20. Burning Ferns - See Saw Seen
A surprising debut from this Welsh band.  Great rockin' tunes with a distinctly mid 60's vibe.

21. The Jellybricks – Youngstown Tune-Up
Always great to hear a new one from the Jellybricks. Both singer songwriters hitting on this one.

22. Shake Some Action! - Catch the Sun
This band always channels the vibe of the Hoodoo Gurus for me  Another solid effort.

23. Sloan - Commonwealth
Always fun to have a grab bag from the Canadian band.   This two disc set organized by each singer/songwriter.this time.

24. The Both - The Both
Yes Aimee Mann efforts have become predictable and boring of late, so a duet album with Ted Leo promised something fresh.  This one doesn't quite live up to the promise though.   Some nice songs but not enough of them overall.

25. The Rip Off Artists -  The Intercontinental
I loved the previous Rip Off Artists album and I like this one.  Some fine tunes from Graham Parker disciples Nick Pipitone and Peter Batchelder along with a few that don't work as well.