[29 September 2008]
If power-pop were marketable, Adam Marsland would be a millionaire, or at least a household name. Solo and with his lamentably defunct band Cockeyed Ghost, Marsland’s compositions erupt with heart, soul and ebullient, unforgettable hooks. Daylight Kissing Night collects twenty of his finest ditties, all delivered with milky falsetto acrobatics and clever couplets that will have Matthew Sweet reaching for a thesaurus. Longtime fans may quibble with rerecords and remixes of older tracks (“At the Bookstore”, “Married Yet”), but the new versions are cleaner, crisper and more confident than their predecessors. A few songs take cutting stabs at music industry (and rock press) nonsense, and only a couple sink into the complacent MOR motions that swallow so many promising singer-songwriters. Most impressive is the jaw-dropping “Ginna Ling”, an alternate-universe classic that runs the gamut of human emotion in under five minutes. Like Marsland’s best achievements, it is a glorious reminder of the seemingly bygone era when power-pop could actually be powerful.