2016COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: LINEUP:
01 Dynamite & Kerosene * 02 Let's Be Friends * 03 Solid Ground * 04 Burn & Crash * 05 Haunts Me * 06 Bad News * 07 LA Can Be Such A Lonely Town * 08 Satellite * 09 1000 Guitars * 10 I Should Have Known * 11 The Worst * 12 Mr Know It All * 13 Put The Blame On Me * 14 LoserTRACK LISTING:
Ken Sharp - vocals, guitars * Rick Springfield, Wally Stocker - guitars * Prescott Niles - bass * Jimmy Waldo - keyboards * Rob Bonfiglio - guitars, drums, keyboards, backing vocals * Ritchie Rubini - organ, piano, backing vocals * Fernando Perdomo - drums, guitarWEBLINKS: http://ken-sharp.com
I'm sure to a number of members here on GDM the name Ken Sharp is probably best well known for writing some of the best Rock Music books bar none. With titles from artists such as KISS
, Cheap Trick
, David Bowie
, the Wrecking Crew
and his acclaimed Power Pop Heroes series there is much to admire from his writing skills. Probably less well known is that Ken is an established recording artist too, and with this his fourth album Ken has come up with the perfect Power Pop Platter. He's also bought in some of his musical heroes (and friends) to help along the way. With names such as Rick Springfield
, Wally Stocker
), Jimmy Waldo
) and Prescott Niles
) this is a sure fire winner.
From the opening chords of 'Dynamite And Kerosene' through to the lengthy (by power Pop standards anyway!) album closer 'Loser' there is barely a minute of this album that is wasted. Ken is a man who knows his way around the genre of Power Pop, his love and understanding shines through in every aspect of this record. The aforementioned opener with its Raspberries
like vibe to it is a fine starter, and with the emphasis of the album being one of catchy, infectious tunes with a real feel good factor to them, the listener is guaranteed to have a beaming smile on their face after spinning this beauty. 'Solid Ground' continues things with Ken effortlessly mixing the likes of Todd Rundgren
with Motown to produce a gorgeous uplifted song. Throughout, though there are so many highlights, even when Ken slows it down a little such as on 'Haunts Me' he still comes up with a gorgeous, heartfelt melody. Sure, there are nods to his heroes such as Badfinger
, The Beatles
and such like, but Ken does it all in his own inimitable style. On 'Satellite' there's even time for some New England
like keyboard flourishes and also features sterling guitar from Rick Springfield
. The final track 'Loser' is also a fine example of expanding ideas to produce a particularly epic Beatles/Cheap Trick
like piece. In truth there is not a misstep anywhere to be found, this album is a little ray of sunshine in what has been a pretty grim year music wise(for me anyway) so far.
Ken Sharp is probably one, if not the most knowledgeable person to write on the genre that is Power Pop, but on this evidence he is also one of the main modern day players of what is, at times a much misunderstood style of rock music. A sure fire top 5 placing when it comes to my end of year list.
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