But as the year progresses and you’ve had your share of genres, experiments and oddities, sometimes you want a sure thing. Which for me is guitar based pop/rock, with either a requisite amount of passion or intelligence, from a band that’s put in a strong showing before.
So I go to a band that made me very happy last year:
Imperial Teen - Seasick (1996)
Okay, so I played it safe. And I get exactly what I wanted. And as the media constantly tells us, we all deserve the best. (Uh, what happens to all that stuff that’s second best? To paraphrase Homer Simpson, it’s for the poor.)
Finally, a straight ahead rock/pop record with good vocals - by the guys with the guitars and the gals with the drums and bass - and a light on its feet yet loud when it needs to be rhythm guitar. The snarky lyrics don’t hurt a bit, either. They go soft and loud, fast and slow, punk and pop, funny and serious.
This record is everything the two Shoes records aren’t. Unique, in that very pop non-unique way.
You can tell when a pop record has been engaging from beginning to end - the first and last songs can be slow ones, and you don’t even mind. A