This recording burst out of nowhere to tremendous underground acclaim on the Internet among various persons who understand the beauty of a hook and high harmonies. Fans of Jellyfish, The Grays, The Wondermints and bands that fall under the rubric of Brian Wilson-influenced pop will not be dissappointed by this disc. The one artist I hear the most of comparison-wise is Emitt Rhodes who released a couple of great albums on Dunhill in the late ‘60s/early ‘70s. Like Rhodes, whose material was compared to the early solo material of Paul McCartney, Linus exhibits a unique sense of melody and song structure.
Brimming with hooks, Linus’ material tears page after page from the songbook of pop where tension in the verses is created quickly so that the choruses explode onto the listener’s ears. Ultimately, like the great Brian Wilson, Linus’ material is musical in the sense that he uses various instruments to great effect, eliminating a sameness that surrounds some pop releases.
The compositions are strong, his voice is pleasant and the performances shine. Personal favorites are “Heavenly” whose semi-staccato organ riff on the chorus becomes indelibly stamped on your synapses after one listen. Another standout track is “When I Get to California.” This track captures the “California” sound given birth by Brian Wilson and redefined by bands like The Association and The Mamas and The Papas.
An amazing fact about this recording is that it was tracked almost entirely at home on a hard disk recorder not much bigger than a shoebox. It is a testament to Linus’ skill, and a startling revelation for those who are adamant that it is impossible to make a record at home that sounds like something produced at a major studio.
This is one of the finest releases by a pop or power pop band in the last year or two, simple as that.
// Notes from the Road
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