Music/Popular Culture

The best CDs of 2013 that I didn’t hear until 2014, part 2: Adam Marsland’s The Owl and the Full Moon

A few days ago I offered up volume one of stuff that should have been in my best CDs of 2013 note, but wasn’t. So now we arriveth at volume the second, whereupon I apologize to Adam Marsland.

Adam has been one of my absolute favorites for a long time. I’m a sucker for the sub-genre we call Power Pop, and he’s among the best. His last studio disc, 2009’s Go West, made my intensely fantastic super-platinum list, and was one of the best PPop CDs I have heard in years.

2013’s The Owl & the Full Moon was pretty damned great, too. I didn’t get to it originally because…well, it was on the list to sort and write about, but my life went badly sideways on me and I just didn’t get to it. No excuses, just an explanation. And Adam deserves better. I feel badly about this.

Most Power Pop derives from a range of sacred founding influences, frequently including The Raspberries and the three Bs: Beatles, Badfinger, Big Star. Adam is certainly acquainted with those legends, but his sound owes more to The Beach Boys, Todd Rundgren and Elton John, as well as mid-’60s West Coast Pure pop. When you listen to Adam’s music, you can’t help hearing his reverence for a certain mode of songcraft. The meticulous attention to melody, the no-nonsense production values aimed at focusing the ear on the song, the lush harmonies – it’s all about reminding us that “Pop” doesn’t have to be an epithet.

So I’m off now to add his name retroactively to the list. While I’m doing so, you should listen to “No One’s Ever Gonna Hear This Song” just to prove him wrong.

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