Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Archie Powell & the Exports

Great Ideas in Action

(Good Land; US: 1 May 2012; UK: Import)

Power-pop proficiency wears thin after a while.

Archie Powell & the Exports play a brand of high-energy pop-rock that is lyrically clever, musically competent and, ultimately, a little wearing. At their worst they can sound derivative of Oasis sans Liam’s sneer (“Job Fair,” “Great Ideas in Action”), while at their best they channel the guitar-driven power-pop verve of, say, The Pursuit of Happiness. “Metronome” kicks things off nicely with buzzing guitars and polysyllabic choral hooks, and this is quickly followed by “Crazy Pills” and “Bend Over Backwards”, which share the same attributes. As the record progresses, though, the returns diminish. By the time the listener reaches the maudlin “You Might Be Cruel (or I Might Be Dumb)” and the grating “All the Same”, patience is wearing thin. Cleverness and energy are all well and good, but something a little more heartfelt is needed to make these tunes stick.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


Media
Archie Powell & the Exports - Crazy Pills
Related Articles
28 Apr 2014
Chicago power-popper Powell's got some girl troubles, man, on his band's third full-length.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements
PopMatters' LUCY Giveaway! in PopMatters's Hangs on LockerDome

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.