There’s throwback rock. There are songs like Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” that call back to the glory days of rock and roll, but infuse them with a modern touch. And then there is Bart Davenport, who seems like some sort of musical impressionist (that’s Frank Caliendo “impressionist,” not Monet “impressionist”).
On Davenport’s new album, Physical World, each song feels like a relic from a bygone era of pop music. Thankfully, these stylistic tributes are more affectionate than cynical, and it feels like discovering an old gem. Everything from the clean, shimmering guitar tones to the warm vocal reverb reminds one of the past. “Dust In The Circuits” is The Smiths. “Pamela” is Paul McCartney. “F*** Fame”—my favorite track, and viciously catchy—is Huey Lewis and The News.
There’s something to be said for doing work within an established genre and doing it well. Davenport has done that here. And despite all that analog warmth, there are a few spaced out tracks like “Girl Gotta Way” which, while clearly Pink Floydian in inspiration, still smack of something out of the 21st century. You’ll probably download the record on MP3 (if you do so at all), but, either way, it’s got a vinyl soul.