Some records come into your life without fanfare or expectations; they exist simply as a statement by an artist. Whether or not the band, Bubblegum Lemonade in this case, has received acclaim or accolades isn’t important, but what matters is the strength of said statement. In the case of Some Like It Pop, I don’t care what anyone has to say, this album is brilliant from start to finish.
“This is the New Normal” winds its way carefully into the opening moments, with a bit of strings and a tinkering bit of bells. Before you know it, you’re swept away in this gorgeous sensation of warm pop. The melody stands out instantly, but the mood of the song is greatly affecting; Laz adds a nice “ba ba ba baaa” to the mix to really emphasize a musician at the top of his game. And hits just keep coming. “It’s Got to Be Summer” again opens with a bit of playful tinkering, but at the 18th second of the track, you won’t find a musical sensation more compelling. What’s striking to me about Some Like It Pop is the attention to detail at every turn. Where the group went for straight indiepop on their last outing, this one is filled with touches and brushstrokes of genius songwriting that ultimately reward the listener, like when this tune trails off in its closing moments.
And things don’t always go as one would expect from Bubblegum Lemonade. On “Don’t Hurry Baby,” there’s a lush arrangement, leaving you with this dreamy balladry that will leave a lasting impression. There’s even a chugging guitar riff beneath the mix that adds a bit of rock n’ roll propulsion to the affair. And it moves into the album’s standout, “Dead Poets Make Me Smile.” The title of the song alone wins, but dammit if the song doesn’t win on every single level, rolling along with the back beat of the drums and the jangling guitar. Other songs like “First Rule of Book Club” have this wry sense of humor, but they also seem to be timeless pieces of music; it’s not draped in nostalgia or boasting some new direction, it’s simply perfect.
The closing statement from Some Like It Pop, “Mr Dreaming’s Bland House,” is the album’s longest tune, and also a final statement that serves as the perfect summation for the record. Melodies swirl throughout. Drums are spot on with their emphatic punch, though never over-intrusive. And the vocals have this perfect wash of fuzzy coating, including a nice dose of backing vocals. It all fits together so well, that you almost immediately start the record over. It’s understated in the perfect way, making the entirety so much more endearing. You’re not going to find a better pop album out there; they just don’t exist, so follow my lead to the blissful land left to us all by Bubblegum Lemonade.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/01-Have-You-Seen-Faith.mp3]
Download: Bubblegum Lemonade – Have You Seen Faith [MP3]