pop rock

MCII (CD)

By Mikal Cronin
4
Rated by Bryan V.
Jun 10, 2014

I don’t know much about Mikal Cronin. He has two albums out under his name, MCII and a self-titled debut that only hinted at the accomplishments found on here. He is obviously an acolyte of the kind of very melodic power pop music that doesn’t get a lot of attention. Does he reveal too much about himself in his music? Is it that he’d rather let his songs speak for themselves than have to provide a press-ready narrative? Who knows? What I know for sure is that MCII is a terrific set of songs that shows Cronin to be the kind of pop craftsman who doesn’t want the craft to get in the way of the

Oct 2, 2012

Stuck on Nothing is the debut album by Philadelphia-based rock band, Free Energy. Free Energy is Scott Wells, Paul Sprangers, Evan Wells, Nicholas Shuminsky, and Sheridan Fox. According to Wikipedia, Free Energy falls into the category of power pop. Power pop is a “popular musical genre that draws its inspiration from 1960s British and American pop and rock music.” The album is full of fun, catchy songs featuring lots of guitar and vocal harmonies.         

If you haven’t heard of Free Energy, I suggest you pick up Stuck on Nothing. It is a great album for driving around in the car with the

The Bears for Lunch (CD)

By Guided by Voices
4
Rated by Bryan V.
Jun 28, 2014

Of the six and a half albums released since the resurrection of Guided By Voices in 2011, The Bears for Lunch is arguably the strongest (with 2014’s Cool Planet a close second). There is an energy and playfulness in a lot of these tunes that's lacking in the other albums. "Dome Rust" and "Finger Gang" are prime examples of the kind of oddball hookiness Robert Pollard, GBV’s lead songwriter, has mastered for decades. “Amorphous Surprise” continues in this giddy, surrealist vein. This is Pollard in an especially exuberant mood, throwing fragments of lyric and melody your way until something