A rather unusual release from one of Power Pop’s leading lights – Ken Sharp.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Ken Sharp
LABEL: Jetfighter Records
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Ken Sharp – lead and background vocals, acoustic guitar, nashville guitar, lead guitar, bass, mellotron, piano, synth, bell tree, maracas, percussion
Additional Musicians: Fernando Perdomo – bass, percussion * Kaitlin Wolfberg – violin, viola
TRACK LISTING: 01 Me & My Big Fat Mouth * 02 Susannah Silently Shining * 03 Day In, Night In * 04 When I Need A Friend * 05 A Kind Of Blue And Smokey Too * 06 Lorelei * 07 Drivin’ * 08 Rise * 09 Stack o’ Records * 10 World Of Wonder * 11 I Am Here * 12 This Kiss * 13 When You Fall * 14 Every Day Is A Holly Day * 15 My Lullaby * 16 Follow
17 If I Called You * 18 Growing Up So Fast * 19 Perfect Sun * 20 Down The Drain * 21 4am * 22 Black Coffee, Cigarettes And Bach’s Minuet * 23 May Day * 24 Best Friend * 25 Something’s Happening * 26 Dollhouse * 27 You’ll Be Known * 28 Clara Baby * 29 Jeanne I Will Remember * 30 We’re Movin’ On * 31 Count On Me * 32 Miniatures
Ken Sharp is a name that anyone with a passing interest in Power Pop will most surely know. His books on the likes of John Lennon, Raspberries, Cheap Trick, KISS, David Bowie and many others as well as THE best Power Pop series of books ‘Play On Power Pop Heroes’ which now runs to 4 weighty volumes are all must have purchases.
Ken, apart from his writing is also an accomplished musician and has produced some really great albums these past few years, ‘New Mourning’ and ‘Beauty In The Backseat’ both of which are featured here at Glory Daze.
This album is rather a departure from the tried and trusted formula of 10/11 songs of 3 to 4-minute length, and as the title suggests here we have 32 tracks all coming in at under 2 minutes and some even less than 1 minute long. So please excuse me if I don’t go into detail over every single song! What’s on offer is a fairly ‘Lo-Fi’ recording using the increasingly popular ‘GarageBand’ app, but that in no way detracts from the quality on offer from Ken.
The majority of the songs are mainly acoustic outings and demonstrate in no uncertain terms his uncanny knack of producing a snappy tune. It’ll come as no surprise that The Beatles influence features very heavily throughout, but Ken is far from a one-trick pony as there are also nods to Glam Rock, Motown, Jazz and even a touch of the Sambas on occasion!
Particular personal highlights for me are the pure McCartney musings of ‘Me And My Big Mouth’, the Lennonesque ‘Rise’, the hippy era Tyrannosaurus Rex like ‘Stack ‘O Records’ and ‘A Kind Of Blue And Smokey Too’ which as the title implies has its musical toes dipped in with Miles Davis and Smokey Robinson.
Everything here has a very intimate feel to it, and far from being a fragmented album, which it could easily have been there’s a cohesiveness to it all with Ken’s sweet and dreamy vocals very much to the fore. There’s that old adage ‘good things come in small packages’ and that’s a perfect way to describe this album.
This type of project has, in the past been tried before. Two such albums that come to mind are the Morgan Fisher (Mott The Hoople) ‘Miniatures’ album and The Residents ‘Commercial Album’. Both met with some confusion upon release, but not this particular album.
This record is very much ‘on point’, and is in every way an unqualified success. Ken Sharp has been able to distill his ideas in a very concise way. An unusual release that’s for sure but one that is forever demanding the listener’s attention.
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