Walter Clevenger & The Dairy Kings, Love Songs To Myself

by PopMatters Staff

 

Die-hard pop fans already know this man well. The Man With The X-Ray Eyes, Clevenger’s 1997 release, is an essential addition to any good record collection. For what it’s worth, it popped up on a bunch of 1997 critics’ lists. Sporting a perfect marriage of power pop, rootsy rock and West Coast country music, these 14 new songs rock ‘n’ roll with a tuneful immediacy. Jangly guitars alternate with Bakersfield twang and slinky guitar riffs. Imagine Buck Owens jamming with the Hollies or the Beatles at Abbey Road circa 1965.

The musical variety is highlighted by the jaw-dropping vocal harmonies of “Sinking Ships,” the jangle-pop meets the Who of “That’s When You Come Back,” the Buddy Holly-esque “All My Love,” and the Owens-drenched “Only You.” Love Songs To Myself is truly an all-star pop-fest, with guest appearances by Jamie Hoover (The Spongetones), Michael Mazzarella (The Rooks), and Robbie Rist (The Andersons).

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