Thursday, December 3, 2009

Not The Best Of 2009: DISAPPOINTMENT #1

I'm not even convinced this looked good on paper. 4 semi-superstars (superstars?), each in his own successful band, collaborate on a new power pop, super project--yeah, maybe. But who? Well, Adam Schlesinger, chief songwriter of Fountains Of Wayne, the oldest Hanson brother, Taylor, Smashing Pumpkins bassist James Iha (uh-oh) and Cheap Trick's larger than life drummer, Bun E. Carlos. I guess we'll just have to hear it.

(~twiddles thumbs, listens~)

Well, I heard it and I don't need to hear it again. What's missing from Tinted Windows' debut is just about everything you thought the 4 members would contribute, well, with the exception of Taylor Hanson. Each of the 11 songs that comprise this project runs out of gas almost immediately after kicking off. Absent from this incredibly boring and disappointing release? The clever lyrics and hooks found on all 4 Fountains Of Wayne records, the kick, drive and often subtle beauty found on Cheap Trick's classics, and though I have never liked the Smashing Pumpkins, there's nothing here (thankfully) that represents them at all, except James Iha. What Tinted Windows DOES sound like is an over-produced, slightly grown-up Hanson record. And to that, I say, so what.

Take a listen to one of the two tracks I don't mind.

"We Got Something."

Now for the good stuff.

The great people over at Power Pop Criminals have compiled over 200 power pop covers over the course of many posts.

Here is a mix of 15 that I find really special...and more fun than anything on the Tinted Windows record.

Somebody Made For Me (Emitt Rhodes) - David Grahame
Between Us (The Rutles) - Teenage Fanclub
When Your Lights Turned On (The Hollies) - Billy Sullivan
That Means A Lot (Billy J. Kramer via Lennon & McCartney)- Cheap Trick
Let Me Roll It (Paul McCartney) - Brendan Benson
God Only Knows (The Beach Boys) - The Mockers
Look Sharp (Joe Jackson) - Lisa Mychols
Why Can't This Be Love (Van Halen) - Gigolo Aunts
Take Me With U - (Prince)- Marshall Crenshaw
It Don't Matter To Me (Bread) - Matthew Sweet
See Emily Play (Pink Floyd) - The Grapes Of Wrath
New York's A Lonely Town (The Trade Winds) - Jeffrey Foskett
Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy (Queen) - Sparkwood
Good Morning, Good Morning (The Beatles) - Lolas
We're For The Dark (Badfinger) - The Loud Family


When you're done paying respects here, go say hello to them and spend some time on their very fine blog.


jay strange said...

whole heartedly agree with you about the tainted listen was all i needed too....takes me back to the days when two members of yes, the drummer from elp and the bass player from king crimson/family got together and instead of being a pushing at it prog band were instead Asia......

even though i have absolutely no interest in smashing pumpkins the presence of james iha actually seemed pleasing because he did a really beautiful, gentle album of pop himself a few years back that i really rated.

steve simels said...

I played in a couple of bands back in the day with the David Grahame whose song starts that playlist.

Interesting couple of guys, as they say.

FD13NYC said...

Wow Sal! An excellent zip of cover songs. I'm impressed as always. Thanks for sharing this compilation. I can't stop listening to them.

Anonymous said...

Simels is spot on about the many Grahame crackers.


Anonymous said...

agreed. and never a fan of the smashing pumpkins either. there are things i like about your blog.

cmealha said...

Read Jay Strange's comment about Asia. I still remember the anticipation of that line-up. I drooled for weeks. The day of release I went down to J&R and picked up the album went home and was depressed for days. What a disappointment!

Today's download was anything but. It was onderful! Pop heaven. I hadn't heard a single one of these. What gems. Gigolo Aunts and Jeffrey Foskett top the list so far. Brendan Benson't McCartney take was great as well. Loved it! Thanks.

matt said...

Props to Jay for mentioning the James Iha album...Let It Come Down, I think it is...what a great disc.

This Tinted Windows disc might have been at the top of my list for most anticipated albums, and rests at the top of a different list, for the biggest disappointment. I guess I should have known when I heard the single, but I couldn't imagine a bad album from the talent involved. Guess what, it happened.