pop 4 summer Reviews
Pop Posted on April 8, 2016 by javagene
Pop 4- “Summer”
“You gotta live every moment gotta love everything
Doesn’t take an Einstein to realize the sunshine is better than the rain…”
Once again I have Alan Haber to thank for finding this release. I actually won the cd in one of his contests. And what an unexpected pleasure it turned out to be. Pop 4 refers to 4 pop artists : Scott McPherson ,KC Bowman,Kirk Adams, and Andrea Perry. The album was recorded at their homes and on the web . And it is remarkable. Here are 4 musicians who play some of the finest pop I’ve heard all year. It plays like a juke box loaded with great pop, with beautiful melodies, terrific harmonies, and influences like the Beatles, Nilsson, ELO,and Aimee Mann, the Cowsills, and sunshine pop.
The album starts with with all four singing “I will become Love ” a capella , followed by the positive “Beautiful” with a nice guitar solo. Things really take off on the ELO inspired “Einstein and Sunshine. “Each artist has a song to add to the mix, and there is fun to be had by seeing who did what, because they are all wonderful artists.
The gorgeous “Jaded” a nod to Harry Nilsson.
Andrea’s “I’m so Jealous” a song that was stuck in my head for a while.
The old time piano on “Julionne Irish” , a tune McCartney should love.
The ode to Aimee Mann on “You’re no Aimee Mann” with a great vocal addition by Andrea at 3 minutes in.
The catchy as can be “Lovers Limbo” .You really have to sing along.
The superb “Tour for the Brokenhearted ” What a song!
“No ties that bind to be found here
Duets turn into solos for reasons we can’t know…”
The strings in the finale to album closer “Dust”.
So 50 minutes of “Summer”. And this album sounds groovy in a car. The arrangements, the guitars, the strings, and the vocals are all pop perfection. I not only won a wonderful album, I now have four new artists to research. All four have their own pop projects . I see that Scott even has a group called The Prefab Sprout Project. Now that I have to check out.
Please seek this music out. It is waiting for you.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Back in Autumn 2015, Yours Truly KJS received a rather nice package in the post from the States by Scott McPherson and Andrea Perry. Both are members of the the musical foursome known as Pop4 and they've also collaborated on the Sproutless project album "Jordan: Revisited" [more on that in the near future]. "Summer" - released back on Friday 12th August - is an impressive debut. It is unique, it rocks and it works. "Summer" is unique in that it was essentially recorded in four  different locations over the internet by four  ultra-talented singer/songwriters and musicians in the same way that Bryan Adams' latest LP "Get Up" was a transatlantic combination between the Canadian rocker producer, ELO maestro Jeff Lynne.
"Summer" works [and rocks] because it takes the listener on a journey through the many sweet harmonies and pleasing tunes on display. Songs that are worthy of the title 'Power Pop' with many nods to The Beatles and ELO as well as a whimsical quirkiness in places that reminds this writer much of The Idle Race. The opening track, the lovely multi-layer acapella "I Will Become Love" lays the foundation for such sonic beauties as the string laden "Jaded" and "Miserably Pursuing Happiness" as well as "Julianne Irish", "Tour For The Brokenhearted" [a real gem for fans of Prefab Sprout in and of itself] and mystical closer "Dust". Yet without doubt, the jewel in this impressive crown is the wonderful "Einstein And Sunshine" - a song as "Mr. Blue Sky" and ELOesque as you can possibly get whilst being inventive and a real homage to Jeff Lynne [see video below for further proof]. "Summer" is a credit to this quality quartet and a welcome listen in the midst of Winter ... or any other season! [9/10]
ELOBeatlesForever, Keith James SInclair
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Pop 4 – “Summer” (Satellites Group)
Indie pop champions Scott McPherson, KC Bowman, Kirk Adams and Andrea Perry are Pop 4; on the summery-sounding Summer (duh), they all sing, play and write, and the results are at once charming, winsome and melodically stimulating. McPherson’s “Einstein and Sunshine” is ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” in a not-so-thin disguise; no, I take that back, it’s a complete and total rip, but it’s so obvious that the listener can only smile and tap their feet. Perry’s downcast “What’s it Gonna Be Like Now” has the aura of one of Chris Bell’s Big Star compilations; “I’m So Jealous” is reminiscent of one of Bowman’s other bands, the Corner Laughers; “Julianne Irish” is a deliriously catchy hootenanny; and “You’re No Aimee Mann” is a strong contender for Song Title of the Year. And to think it was all recorded at their homes and over the internet - by John M. Borack www.goldminemag.com
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Label : SATELLITES GROUP
Pop 4 "Summer"
もし、あなたが良い音楽に飢えているのであれば、このパワーポップ界の三ツ星シェフ4人が本気で取り組んだ創作料理 の数々を、ぜひご賞味ください。素材も調味料も知り尽くしたシェフたちの作る料理＝楽曲は、どれもがメイン・ディッシュ。きっとあなたの舌？いやいや耳を 満足させることでしょう。
メンバーは、Prefab Sproutのオマージュ・プロジェクトであるSproutlessにも参加していたLiar’s ClubのScott McPherson（以下SM：Roger Joseph Manning Jr.のアルバムにも関係）とAndrea Perry（AP）、The Corner LaughersのKC Bowman（KCB）、VanillaのKirk Adams（KA）からなる4人組で、皆作詞作曲をし複数の楽器を演奏するというポップ職人の集まり。それぞれXTC、The Beatles、Stackridge、Pugwash、Jon Brion、Elliott Smith、70年代のTop40などからの影響を公言しています。
"It doesn’t take an Einstein to realize the sunshine is better than rain（晴れが雨より良いと理解するのに、アインシュタインは必要ない）" というフレーズが印象的な#4はSM作。Jeff Lynneが泣いて喜びそうなナンバーです。PVも秀逸。ぜひご視聴を。
#6はアルバム中唯一の3人での共作 （AP、KA、SM）。アコースティック主体の中にGeorge Harrisonを彷彿とさせるエレキ・ギターのアクセントが実に心地よい。コーラスとハーモニーも完璧で、非の打ち所がないです。私的フェイバリット曲。
Danny Levinのストリングスが入る#7はチェンバー・ポップ。韻を踏んだ歌詞もかわいらしくてヒネくれてて遊び心が感じられますが、最後の一文 "But who knows where I’ll be. In a couple of centuries…(no one knows) Celebrated or jaded?" は何とも意味深ですね。
Jellyfishが好きなら絶対OKな#9はピアノが印象的なナンバー。詩的な歌詞（タイトルからして 「Miserably Pursuing Happiness」ですからね）も深い意味が込められていそうな気がします。
タイトルといえば、続く#10も気になります。「Jullianne Irish 結婚して結婚して！」な訳ですが、聴けば聴くほど女性ではない気が…もしかして、アイリッシュウイスキー？ヴォードヴィル的な作風は、Paul McCartneyやAndy Partridgeへの敬意が感じられます。
#15は#12と同じくSM作（どちらも3拍子のリズムが印象的）。「Tour for the Brokenhearted」というタイトル、 "If hell is a place then it’s here”、" Lost not forgotten In hell they rot in …now on with the tour…" と並ぶ歌詞からは、「Hotel California」のような無常が感じられます。
そして、ラストの#16。このアルバムは、幕開けも終幕もAPの作品です。「私は愛になります（#1）」「すべては 美しい（#2）」と始まり、「あなたが持っていたすべては塵（#16）」と終わる…何か繋がりを感じます。アルバムを通して聴き終えた時、（特に歌詞の面 で）あらためて気づくことも多々あることでしょう。
聞けばこのアルバム、メンバー4人が直接会わずにインターネットを駆使しながら、それぞれのホームスタジオで録音さ れたというから驚きです。こうした方法ができるというのはテクノロジーの進歩もさることながら、各メンバーがお互いのセンスやスキルなどに絶大な信頼があ るからなのでしょう。
この才気あふれるプロジェクトが今後継続していくのか、ライブやツアーの予定はあるのか…興味は尽きません。 Power Pop Revival
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
ALBUM REVIEW: POP4 – SUMMER
Rising pop/rock band Pop4 recently released their latest album "Summer" back in August. With the band members spread throughout the U.S., many different influences are brought into the music, which gives their sound a style all its own.
The new sixteen-song release begins with the brightening harmonies of "I Will Become Love," which leads into the light pop feel of "Beautiful." They get into a more rock groove with "Blow Wind Blow," then bring their influence of Electric Light Orchestra into the up-tempo "Einstein And Sunshine." Pop4 give a nod to sixties pop music with "Jaded" and "Straight To My Head" as they simplify their music to create a vintage sound.
The album finishes with the raw rock feel of "You Love Me" and the gentle touch of "Dust." To find out more about Pop4 and their latest album "Summer," please visit pop4.rocks.
JP's Music Blog is brought to you by the Record-Journal Newspaper Publishing Company.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
ALBUM REVIEW: POP4 – SUMMER
I am so sick and tired of defending ‘classic’ pop songwriting – why should the age of a genre ever come into the assessment of good music.
Anyways, thankfully I have a musical representation of this argument in the form of Pop4’s brilliant album Summer. Comprising of Scott McPherson, KC Bowman, Kirk Adams and Andrea Perry – a power pop brain trust, for those in the know – Pop4 exploits the diverse strengths of its members to provide one of the finer pop albums of 2015.
Highlights include the droll putdown “You’re No Aimee Mann” (which Mann herself approves of, it seems!), the delightfully ELO-channelling “Einstein and Sunshine” and the warm pastoral “Beautiful”.
There’s no doubt that we need more sophisticated melodic albums like Summer – no irony, no pretension, no pastiche – I am glad to declare that this is the real deal.
Kevin Mathews - Power of Pop
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Pop4’s “Summer” is a “Stunner”
by Pop Transmitter
OK. I sucked at math. I’m sure many of you did, too. I mean how often do I use calculus, trigonometry or algebra in any given day? Not much. But… it’s time for a quick refresher. Ask yourself what the square root of 16 songs is, and I’ll tell you the answer your calculator can’t. The answer is: Pop4.
So the seasons got the best of me and here I am writing a review of a debut album entitled “Summer” from the pop collective that is Pop4. Andrea Perry (“Andrea” going forward), Kirk Adams (“Kirk”), Scott McPherson (“Scott”) and KC Bowman (“KC”) – some known for their penchant for hunkering down in their personal studios and keeping things solo, while others pop up as session players or members of about 15-20 bands I adore – and we’re already into the welcoming early days of Fall. Although I’ve been listening to this record for well over seven weeks, this debut is so copacetic, you, too, may find yourself listening to it over and over without realizing… you’ve left it on repeat for an entire day.
Now, I grew up on 3 minute and 33 second records of pop, and I’m quite certain all four members of Pop4 did as well. You see, as is typical of the catchiest of pop music goes (we’re talking everything spanning from The Beatles, to The Grays, Jellyfish, Michael Penn, XTC, Crowded House, Squeeze, Aimee Mann, Stephen Duffy and/or The Lilac Time, Mike Viola, Wondermints, Jackdaw4, ELO, Jon Brion, The Pearlfishers and so on) there’s often a darker message buried within the melodic instrumentation and the harmonic, yet bittersweet sung lyrics. And “Summer” dives right in there, unafraid. You see, the album sounds great and lively and fun... but the band members are a little more world-weary, and even under the auspices of fresh fun, their songs connect -- for me -- at a different level. It's almost deceptive, but it's there!
Now I tried to have a friend listen to “Summer” and he couldn’t get over the hymn-like opening track from Andrea (who has four solo records you should be grabbing up… right now!). And from the getgo, you are in for many surprises. That harmonic a cappella tune simply introduces us to what we should expect for it is just a wakeup call to the band’s segue from tune to tune. And as you listen to the rest of the record, please try to remember the very telling difference between “imitation” and “innovation”. Why? Because Pop4 is so accomplished in its command of the entire pop genre, that in several original songs, the band’s adoration and awe continually spring up while you listen even if they are clearly marked as ‘a song that sounds like’. For example, like Scott’s XTC-ish song “Julianne Irish” or ELO-ish “Einstein and Sunshine”or the pastoral jangly recording of Kirk’s “Straight to My Head” invoking several Brit-pop bands from the late 80’s. And then, if you still are not caught up in the journey this band clearly wants you to experience, wait for KC’s “You Love Me” with all the references to mid-era Squeeze or even Crowded House. And if the simmering wistfulness of Andrea’s “What’s It Gonna Be Like Now” doesn’t make you unhappily happy, then head for Scott’s sugar-coated “Tour for the Brokenhearted” and you’ve entered Macca territory, down a road that doesn’t include guest vocalists to make it sound ‘authentic’.
What also strikes me as funny, is that these four musicians clearly admire each other’s previous music efforts. Hence Kirk’s “Lover’s Limbo” could have easily fit into any Liar’s Club record (one of Scott’s other bands) and similarly, KC’s “You Love Me” pays homage to many songs you may find on Andrea’s records.
Drum roll, please. Not only are the songs nearing something close to perfection, add to its concoction that all four members also sing, and you know you’re in for some great harmonies in different configurations. And by the end, you’ve just listened to an entire album that was recorded and traded back and forth via computer since the four musicians never met one another before the record’s release.
And so it goes, track after track that to the casual listener is all good and plenty (I defy anyone to raise their hand and say they’ve heard a recent better collaborative song cycle than “Summer” delivers), but for those of us that want to stick with the reading of lyrics, or imagine what drove each of these fine singer-songwriters to join into a very democratic band -- when they’re all accomplished musicians in their own right – is cool, too.
I could go on and on and dissect all 16 tunes, but to be blunt, you’d be foolish to read my review even this far if you have not taken a second to switch screens and order this record now.
And just as Andrea’s “I Will Become Love” began the album and prepares the listener for what’s ahead, her compellingly strong song “Dust” quietly and masterfully concludes the affair. Easily ranked at this point as my favorite pop record of 2015, I hope you’ll check out “Summer”. It’s a pop record like no other in years.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
You're Going To Thank Me For Introducing You To The Pop Charms Of Pop4
Usually it works like this: some band or their PR flacks emails me to say "Hey, I saw that you posted about [band x], well maybe you'll like [our shitty band]." The reality is that [our shitty band] sounds nothing like [band x] and I get angry and delete the email.
However, this time when I got an email from Andrea Perry saying that her band, Pop4, sounded like Pugwash and the New Pornographers, she wasn't lying. There was not an ounce of PR bullshit in her email so I thank her for getting in touch. The tunes of Pop4 are some of the brightest slices of pop I've heard in ages. Blending bits of ELO ("Einstein and Sunshine") and Aimee Mann (the wonderfully-titled "Miserably Pursuing Happiness"), the music of Pop4 is a revelation. These tunes touch on all the things I liked already but somehow the songs still sound new and vibrant.
On The Feeling-like "Straight to my Head", there's even a twang-y hint of the best moments of Jellyfish. That tune segues into the marvelously self-aware "You're No Aimee Mann" which manages to out Jon Brion Jon Brion himself. Funny, smart, and altogether perfect, the song is the sort of thing that makes a listener such as myself a bit angry at not having heard this band and song before now. I heard this and wanted to lay my hands on everything that Pop4 have done, you know?
"Lover's Limbo" even nods in the direction of college rock legends Let's Active, while "Tour for the Brokenhearted" imagines an impossible Nilsson/Jon Brion collaboration.
And I haven't even mentioned the fact that this record is the result of the four members -- Andrea Perry, Scott McPherson, Kirk Adams, and KC Bowman -- recording their parts separately. That sounds like a gimmick but it's worth mentioning because you'd almost never believe me when you listen to Summer. What's on this album is the sound of one of the best new American bands I've heard in quite some time. That they did this without actually meeting in person is even more astonishing.
Summer by Pop4 is sure to charm fans of Jeff Lynne, Brian Wilson, Neko Case, Jellyfish, and Jon Brion. The tunes here are big and catchy. The cuts are all carefully crafted and show the hard work of 4 musicians pooling their love of some worthy shared influences in the creation of the very best kind of pop.
Glenn kenixfan - A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed
September 25, 2015 BY DAN PAVELICH
Pop 4, “Summer” (Satellites Group)
Pop 4’s debut is a brilliant collaboration of four impressive talents; Andrea Perry, Kirk Adams, Scott McPherson and KC Bowman. All are well known to indie pop fans, and “Summer” perfectly distills their strengths into an album that will surely top many year-end-best lists.
“I Will Become Love” opens with layers of lush vocals, immediately putting the listener in a Brian Wilson state of mind. Though these four voices are newly matched in harmony, they sound as if they’ve been singing together forever. McPherson’s bouncy “Einstein & Sunshine” and Perry’s ethereal, dreamy “What’s It Gonna be Like Now” are standouts in a field of standouts, and my personal faves.
Obvious touchstones for Pop 4 are the aforementioned Wilson, ELO and Rubber Soul-era Beatles, though each band member has influences that aren’t as easily identified, giving the group depth single songwriter bands sorely lack.
In all honesty, I haven’t heard anything this wonderful in quite some time.
By Dan Pavelich
Groundbreaking Artists and Newcomers Captured on New Titles Posted on September 21, 2015 by Dan Harr
Title: Summer (Pop4)
You might like if you enjoy: Moonpools & Caterpillars, Susanna Hoffs, Pugwash.
There are joyful echos of Electric Light Orchestra, The Beatles, Matthew Sweet, Moonpools & Caterpillars and a wide range of melodic rock icons across the aptly-titled Pop4 release “Summer.” The 16-track power-pop collection definitely conjures up long, warm summer days with a plethora of bright melodies and harmonies.
Highlights on the album include the a capella “I Will Become Love,” the driving “Blow Wind Blow,” ELO-mining “Einstein and Sunshine” (“Mr. Blue Sky” is an obvious rhythmic reference here) and baroque pop standout “You’re No Aimee Mann.” Information: facebook.com/pop4musicquartet.
by Robert Kinsler
Babysue.com Review .September 1, 2015
Pop4 - Summer (CD, Satellites Group, Pop)
Think great pop music is dead? The four folks in Pop4 will make a believer out of you all over again. This band is an underground supergroup made up of four musicians with enough talent and charm to change the universe. Pop4 is comprised of Scott McPherson (The Protagonist), KC Bowman (The Logician), Kirk Adams (The Champion), and Andrea Perry (The Mediator). Summer is about as good as pop gets. These four individuals have recorded an album that is warm, friendly, charming, smart, memorable, and completely grooooovy. These songs remind us of a whole slew of our favorites...including (but not limited to) XTC, The Beatles, Stackridge, Teenage Fanclub, Azure Ray, The New Pornographers and...and...and...well, we could just go on and on and on here. We've been in love with Andrea Perry's music for a very long time (search for our previous reviews...she's always a Top Pick). This lady is absolutely one of the best kept secrets in the world of music. We have to admit that when this package arrived we were drooling all over ourselves thinking it was a new solo album. But even though it wasn't, we're as pleased as peaches with this album. Summer is a precise and pure slice of perfect modern pop. The harmonies are mind boggling...and the songs themselves are resilient and ultra catchy. Not much more to say here except...this one is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Sixteen marvelous tracks including "I Will Become Love," "Beautiful," "Blow Wind Blow," "Einstein and Sunshine," "What's It Gonna Be Like Now," "Don't You Be Like That"... Aw, heck...we're gonna stop listing individual cuts now because they're ALL wonderful. You've got to hear this album. It is truly GREAT. TOP PICK. 5 out of 5 Babysue
August 21, 2015 powerpopaholic
An amazing collaboration by a group of power pop superstars, the Pop4 brings together Andrea Perry, Scott McPherson (Liar’s Club), KC Bowman (Corner Laughers), and Kirk Adams (Vanilla). These artists clearly love the joys of 1970s pop and while the retro influences are present, it doesn’t feel like a gimmick because the music is well written and genuine. With 16 gems, this is a real treat.
Starting with “I Will Become Love,” a vocal choir followed by the pastoral “Beautiful,” led by Perry is very reminiscent of the late Karen Carpenter. “Blow Wind Blow” has a such groovy vibe I almost expected more cowbell here, and the sunny standout “Einstein and Sunshine” is clearly a nod to ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky.” Perry’s angelic “Don’t You Be Like That” and “I’m So Jealous” are very much in the ballpark with KC Bowman’s alter-ego band The Agony Aunts. “Jaded” is a clear homage to Harry Nilsson, while “Julianne Irish” is done in a whimsical vaudevillian style like Andy Partridge. I could keep going but you get it already. Its another nominee for best LP of 2015, if not one of the most fun albums ever. Summer is almost over, so pick it up from the band’s website. 9 out of 10
Painting with dust; POP goes the easel A CD review - POP4 summer
Kirk Adams, KC Bowman, Scott McPherson, Andrea Perry Frank Cotolo
August 22, 2015
The true beauty of artistic pop/rock is its ability to move melodies in every direction. Some routes defy musical form, others are familiar deviations of influences and even others are trails into deep, disturbing emotional territories of the heart. To experience the breadth of "Pop Art" put to music, one must be prepared to go the distances before reaching a destination. As Robert Frost wrote, "The best way out is always through." If you are ready, then, POP4 Summer is a journey by masterful artistic pop/rock songwriters/performers Kirk Adams, KC Bowman, Scott McPherson and Andrea Perry, which you must go through in order to get out - or more explicitly, be released. Andrea Perry provides the all-important tunes that put depth to a season's menu of music performed from amusement to amazement. To begin the CD with her song, "I Will Become Love," and end with her song, "Dust," allows Bowman, Adams and McPherson to embrace baroque melodies with reckless abandon. Perry and Bowman collaborated in song two, "Beautiful," which sets the scene for the playfully constructed pop concertos to follow. "Beautiful" is a coloring book of sound that so carefully ignores the strong sense of spirituality in which the CD ends and presents a youthful spin on eternity. "My God, I fall for tricks as old as this," she sings as an aside and to herself, before she declares to those less fortunately gifted with reality that the trees, the sun and the moon are, simply, like everything else, beautiful. The derivative but decisive "Einstein And Sunshine" is delightfully puerile. McPherson's song follows Adams' "Blow Wind Blow," and the jumping rock pieces pounce like boys would in light, coltish motion on a hot August day. "Take me wherever you want me to go," Adams sings in the latter, perhaps after hearing McPherson sing, "It doesn't take an Einstein to realize the sunshine is better than rain." Duh. While the boys careen off the light edges of pulp pop, Perry strolls the sands of time, forlorn beneath a summer sky filled with dead stars, wondering. "What's It Going To Be Like Now?" She pauses from the word "like" to the word "now," as if she cannot connect with the moment, no less how life will become with love lost. The boys, however, continue to believe everything is beautiful and that is all they want to believe. Perry joins McPherson and Adams in their collaboration "Don't You Be Like That." The trio agrees that the mood of the previous tune "is chilling, draped in black" but a change of mind, if not of heart, is the obvious solution, so they chant, "Don't you be like that..." Certainly not "...now." Then, McPherson shows some sweet femininity with a pretty poem and his string quartet (lovely musical assistance by Danny Levin). "Jaded" plays with rhymes to dull us with its surfeit and toss off the seriousness of a direct answer. POP 4's summer at this point is down to "who knows..." so let's just have fun. "I'm So Jealous" finds Perry joining the boys in their immature theater of pulp, where it's all right to lose a love or two to summer; in fact, it provokes this Shirley Temple-like dance tune. Then the gallery of tunes turns on a dime and summer shifts from playful to painful, if only in its promise to end. That's why the next song is "Miserably Pursuing Happiness." Perry and Bowman sing about the burden of consciously looking to be happy, making hope a burden. Meanwhile, McPherson is creating "pub pop" with his saloon-crooning "Julianne Irish." It's a drunken harangue served at room temperature and sung tongue-in-cheek with an ending that decelerates to a point where you realize it's the booze singing. Adams' "Straight To The Head" aptly follows in Nilssonesque persistence. It is apparent at this point that POP4 summer has come of age, relating on a totally different level than it began and changed into midway. The journey is less arty at this point; it is almost decidedly snide. "You're No Aimee Mann" is long; it's a march into submission, ending with a wandering musical "Whatever," feel, like Aimee's own "sunny, surreal" songs. Adams' "Lover's Limbo" admits to be "numb and floating... is fine this time of year" and summer's rite of passage means we "haven't got a clue and maybe it's just as well." Bowman resigns in "You Love Me" that it ain't necessarily so. "You love me until you've got something better to do." McPherson then welcomes us all to a "Tour For The Brokenhearted" where we should "have respect for the departed" and the heaven that defined everything is beautiful when POP4 summer started is summer burning out. "If hell is a place then it's here." Oh, how summer's flames have turned innocence into fragments of matter. This is an evergreen collection of sharp, clear music that displays the talents of a quartet whose individual members represent a loss in the very value of the wonderful music they have created over too many years of anonymity. Perry understands this and when the collection of arty musical approaches results in her song, "Dust," we are left bereft of youth and its championship season. Listening to this CD any other season but summer is all right. It will just bring you right back to an understanding that everything is beautiful and so is the dust. As an existential parable, POP4 summer assures us that beneath the rubble of the broken heart are the stuff of life that mattered and may matter again. Frank Cotolo can be found hosting the talk and interview programme Cotolo Chronicles. You can send him an e-mail at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pop 4’s debut album, Summer, proves that great talents, working together, create great art. It really should come as no surprise that talents of this caliber will ostensibly bring their A game to the recording table. In the case of Pop 4’s quartet of musical masters, that means melodies and harmonies and hooks exhibiting the highest of pedigrees. Every track is a delight; every single note is perfectly placed and sung. Perhaps the track that points most broadly to this group’s strengths is the gorgeous, mid-tempo ballad “Don’t Be Like That,” a luscious mid-tempo song painted with a harmony-soaked brush and the sweetest, most seductive melody this side of a bear bottle full of honey. You could also point to tracks like the melodic “Lover’s Limbo,” possibly the finest song that XTC’s Andy Partridge never wrote, as representative of Summer’s treasures. Or you could put forth the ultra-catchy “Einstein and Sunshine,” which will more than ably satisfy the desires of Jeff Lynne fans until the next ELO album comes out (dig the fluid string arrangement and, well, the rest of it).
The members of Pop 4: (clockwise) Kirk Adams, Andrea Perry, KC Bowman and Scott McPherson
Since all of these songs are top-notch, you might think that it would be difficult to pick the album’s centerpiece, but it’s not hard at all. Scott’s waltz for the afflicted, “Tour for the Brokenhearted,” succeeds mightily if you just take the music and the arrangement into consideration. This track is the total package, the obvious star attraction. “Welcome to the tour for the world’s brokenhearted/Careful, watch your step/Have respect for the departed,” Scott sings. “String lay on the ground/No ties that bind to be found here/Duets turn into solos/For reasons we can’t know.”
Gee whiz, this song will break your heart. The awfully pretty melody–the sweet–plays beneath the sour, but the point of the lyric, at least as far as I can fathom, is that the brokenhearted will live their lives in a kind of tilted Möbius strip unless they are able to find their way out of the morass. In fact, the final words sung here hint at that possibility: “This concludes our tour through that door/Is where you started.” Beautifully sung by Scott and punctuated by tight bass stabs played by Andrea, “Tour for the Brokenhearted” is this year’s most emotional ballad and a truly great creation. As are all of the songs on this hall-of-fame record, a breath of fresh air in the second half of 2015’s summer season. Alan Haber purepopradio.com
Review is in from Pure Pop Radio! Plus, you get the opportunity to hear one of our songs for the very first time anywhere! Read on:
"Pop 4 | “Don’t You Be Like That” Another album that will, we predict, land on more than a few of this year’s best-of lists, is Summer, the debut release from melodic pop supergroup Pop 4. Both supergroup and, well, super, Pop 4 brings together the considerable talents of Liar’s Club’s Scott McPherson; the great singer and songwriter Andrea Perry; the Corner Laughers’ not-so-secret weapon KC Bowman; and Vanilla’s Kirk Adams for a virtual master class in pure pop songwriting and performance. The mid-tempo ballad “Don’t You Be Like That,” presented as an exclusive to Pure Pop Radio listeners (it debuts at 8 pm ET tomorrow night–set your alarm clocks), is painted with a harmony-soaked brush. Featuring lead vocals from Andrea, Kirk and Scott, a middle-eight sent from nowhere less than heaven, and a subtle, George Harrison-esque electric guitar run, this is one of the catchiest songs we’ve heard in ages. Don’t miss Summer when it drops later this summer which, by the way, is now officially our favorite season of this year." - Alan Haber purepopradio.com
"I had the opportunity to hear 'Summer', the upcoming album by Pop 4, a supergroup for the modern age, featuring the talents of some people with whom you're familiar, and some with whom you may not be: KC Bowman, Andrea Perry, Scott McPherson, and Kirk Adams. The four of them have never met in person, but have traded music and ideas over the 'net for several years, and 'Summer' is the culmination of this. Sixteen poptastic tracks, replete with several of the touchstones we know and love, including The Beatles, XTC, Nilsson and ELO, just to name a few. The beauty of this album, other than the quality of the songs, is that you can hear the influence of each individual writer on his or her tracks, along with the collective influence of the group, in a way that you just don't get from conventionally made albums." So, yeah, order your copy now! Limited supplies! releasing in August or thereabouts. - David Bash IPO Founder internationalpopoverthrow.com