Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mood Elevator Married Alive 2003

What a swell title, Married Alive. Not that you have to share the sentiment, but it's great wordplay. And it's a top notch power-pop record from one of the genre's finest.

 The record includes some magic rocking moments with Boycott, Watch Your Girl, Guilty, Long Hard Look, Best Kept Secret, and Something I Need. All of them move forward in a hurry, and they're filled with hooks and melodically familiar melodies that are hard not to like, or just dance to.

But the slower material is just as good. The songwriting, by Chris Plum with help from producer, engineer and band member Brendan Benson is excellent throughout. The theme is pretty obvious from the record's title, but Plum takes love on from many angles, and does them all justice. The closer, At The Wedding, is sweetly touching.

Big Star, Nick Lowe, a touch of Squeeze. Occasionally Spongetones or Rooney or Sloan. If power-pop is in your wheelhouse, these guys will light up the joint. The band is tight, the sound is clean, the songs and singing are excellent, and Benson has produced enough to know what the songs need to keep them interesting and varied. Highly recommended.

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