Pop That Goes Crunch!

Seven Decades Of Melodic Rock & Roll

Archive for the tag “Keith Klingensmith”

The Legal Matters Deliver Perfect Harmony

The Legal Matters

Some albums grab you immediately and refuse to let go. You wake up, and one of its songs is in your mind. You’re at work, and another one is seemingly in your ear. You’re making dinner, and yet another one is bouncing around relentlessly in your head. And so on, and so on and so on.

The self-titled debut by The Legal Matters is one of those records. The Legal Matters is a “rockin’ pop project containing equal parts Chris Richards, Andy Reed and Keith Klingensmith,” each of whom has been discussed many times previously on these pages. Given that life’s too short to write about bad music (or even mediocre music, for that matter), it is hardly surprising that I would at least “like” this “rocking’ pop” effort.

That, however, is quite an understatement. The whole of this combination is greater than the sum of its three “equal parts.” The Legal Matters is the best long-player I have heard so far this year. It is hard to imagine anything coming out in the second-half of the year to eclipse it.

The opening track, “Rite Of Spring,” sets the tone for the album in its first few seconds. A simple keyboard riff over strummed guitars bathes the revelry about the perfect girl in undeniable warmth and sweetness. You can feel the sunshine on your skin by the time the million-dollar three-part harmonies kick in at about the one-minute mark:

Gorgeous harmonies are all over this record. Richards, Reed and Klingensmith are superb singers on their own. This record makes the case, though, that they should be singing together until they can sing no more. Check out, in particular, how the harmonies sung during the chorus add a sense of hope to the longing that otherwise characterizes “Have You Changed Your Mind?”

Indeed, several songs on the album adroitly play the bitter against the sweet. “So Long Sunny Days” hides its own sense of longing and melancholy in three-minutes of absolutely perfect melodies. “Mary Anne” is probably the prettiest song about a life full of regret that you will hear this year.

None of this means that the Legal Matters can’t “rock” when they want. But they do it without trying to beat you over the head. “The Legend Of Walter Wright” — a man who was “remarkably clean and mildly polite” — may be the best song in the collection. It will have you reflexively increasing the volume on the car stereo whenever it comes on as you drive around town:

 

Delivering “only” ten songs over thirty-five minutes, The Legal Matters recalls a time when the space limitations of vinyl meant that truly great artists only waxed their best ideas. There is no fluff here, and not a moment of time is wasted from start to finish.

So, run, don’t walk, to wherever you go to buy the finest music, and get The Legal Matters as soon as you can.

New Music Sunday: Almost Spring Edition

The Legal Matters

I’ve recently added a bunch of additional tracks to Pop That Goes Crunch radio, both new and old. Here is some of the best “new” music added over the past week, kicking off with a bit of Springtime:

The Legal Matters, “Rite Of Spring”: The Legal Matters is a “rockin’ pop project containing equal parts Chris Richards, Andy Reed and Keith Klingensmith,” each of whom is well-represented on this site and on the radio station. “Rite Of Spring” is our first taste of a long-player scheduled for a summer release. You need go no further than this to hear the best vocal harmonies of the year, set amid jangly guitars, subtle keyboards and some way cool jingle bells:

The JAC, “Love Dumb”: Joe Algeri and crew deliver a bit of perfectly propulsive Power Pop ahead of an upcoming LP. This one will have you singing along before completing your first listen:

The Sunchymes, “Mr. Buckstone”: “Checking The Weather” from 2012’s Let Your Free Flag Fly is quite a popular track on the radio station. This new slice of West Coast Pop wraps a tale of fib-telling boor in a rather pretty package, resplendent with shiny harmonies, “ba-ba-bas” and sweet mellotron flourishes:

The Zags, “Tattoo”:  This is bright and shiny Power Pop in the grandest early-70s tradition with subtle glam and garage rock undercurrents. You’ll also start singing along to this one long before its over:

Loop Line, “All I’m Waiting For”: Loop Line is two guys — one living in the U.S., the other in Japan — who created a 21-track record via file sharing. They describe their sound as “a combination of 60’s pop and 90’s indie rock, with as many vocal harmonies as each song can possibly hold.” That’s an apt description — their just released long-player, Tides, sports what seems like a thousand harmonies. “All I’m Waiting For” must have several hundred itself:

Each of these songs, along with nine-hundred others, are spinning 24/7 on Pop That Goes Crunch radio. Why not check it out?

 

Toxic Melons Deserve Your Support

Toxic Melons -- Bus ThearpyThe last post on this site discussed five tracks that proved to be quite popular in the inaugural month of Pop That Goes Crunch radio. One of the highlighted tracks is “Diffidence” by Toxic Melons. I’ve now had a chance to listen to the soon-to-be released Bus Therapy by Paul Fairbairn and pals in its entirety. It is one of the most wildly eclectic pop albums you likely will hear this year, or any other year for that matter. A Kickstarter campaign is nearing its conclusion. Here’s why you should happily contribute to this effort, as I did last month.

Fairbairn says on the Kickstarter page “if you’re a fan of The Beatles, Jellyfish, Queen, The Beach Boys, E.L.O and Power Pop in general, I think you might enjoy the album!” Indeed you will as Bus Therapy takes you on a dizzying roadtrip through the last five decades of pop music in just thirty-three minutes.

The festivities begin rather quickly with “More Or Less,” a song about accepting that not everything in life is black or white but enjoying the “bumper ride” anyway, propelled by swirling keyboards and copious harmonies. “Journey” takes us on the first of many wide left turns — a slow instrumental right up front. “Let Me Sleep” is, well, a rather sleepy track about begging to sleep for another ten minutes and features a nicely placed glam flourish here and there.

The two best tracks come soon thereafter.

“Change The World” is sung beautifully throughout by Linus Of Hollywood. Fairbairn’s keyboards and accordion, and the overall waltzing tempo of the track, give the whole thing a wonderfully circus-like feel.

Keith Klingensmith lends his pitch perfect vocals to the rather jaunty “Not In Love?” which, as far as I can tell, must have knocked an Elton John song off of the top spot on Billboard charts back when I was in elementary school. Like “Change The World,” it also has been added to Pop That Goes Crunch radio.

“Getting Old” wraps piano, strings and trumpet around decidedly craggy vocals about fighting the inevitable. Quite naturally, then, the track is followed by the closer, “Take Me Back” a bit of sublime Beach Boys pop nostalgia about days gone by.

You can stream the whole thing right here:

 

 

 

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