Monday, November 18, 2013

REVIEW: Bubblegum Lemonade - Some Like It Pop

Well, it certainly is true that some like it pop.  And I maintain that those who like it pop will most certainly like Some Like It Pop, the third LP from Glasgow's Bubblegum Lemonade.  The band is the project of Glasgow's Lawrence "Laz" McCluskey.  And while it is guitar pop, and those guitars most definitely jangle, it cannot be categorized merely as jangle pop.  Laz's palette is broader than ever and the set mixes downbeat songs with the upbeat, fuzzy distorted The Jesus and Mary Chain blasts with the chiming bubblegum, Teenage Fanclub power pop with Lucksmiths' melancholy, and the idiosyncratic pop of Belle and Sebastian with the soaring anthems of Phil Spector.  I was an early adopter of Bubblegum Lemonade, picking up the Ten Years Younger EP in 2008.  I've always found Laz's music captivating, but I'm particularly impressed at his growth as a songwriter over the ensuing five years.  And I can confidently write that if you are only going to own one Bubblegum Lemonade record to date, this is it.

You can enjoy a four-track sampler of the album below.  It begins with the uptempo rhythms of "Dead Poets Make Me Smile".  Its sunny melody and literate lyrics will brighten your day.  The proceedings take a darker cast with "You Can't Go Back Again", which reminds me of the moody folk rock of The Grass Roots (that's a '6os reference, for you youngsters).  The next track is, for me, one of the album highlights.  "Have You Seen Faith", previously released as a single, has the melody, guitar hooks, and performances that make for a perfect three minute pop song.  At the end of Laz's career, he will have written many fine songs, but this one will be in the top group.  The sampler closes with "She Brings The Sunshine", another pop nugget with echos of The Monkeys and the best of C86.  Matinee Recordings thinks it could be a single, and I'll endorse the notion.

And those tracks are only one-third of the album.  There is more '60s flavored guitar pop such as "It's Got to be Summer", '90s power pop like "Famous Blue Anorak" (nice bongos, too), and gentle downtempo in the form of "Don't Hurry Baby".  This is one of those albums that won't sit on your self.  You'll want it on your portable devices, you'll want it in your car, you'll want it on regular rotation at home.  Go ahead, wear it out.  That's what it is for.

Some Like It Pop is out now via Matinee Recordings.

Order page for Some Like It Pop
Matinee Recordings

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