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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Paul Collins - King Of Power Pop

Paul Collins - King Of Power Pop
2010, Alive Records

Paul Collins might not be the forefather of Power Pop but he certainly was on the committee. Collins spent much of the 1970's working with Peter Case in both Nerves and The Breakaways before forming The Beat (Paul Collins Beat) in 1979. Collins gets back to his roots on his latest album, King Of Power Pop, due out on August 24, 2010 on Alive Records. King Of Power Pop features Eric Blakely on guitar and backing vox, Producer Jim Diamond (The White Stripes, Dirtbombs, The Go) on bass and Dave Shettler on drums. Guest appearances by Wally Palmar (The Romantics) and Nikki Corvette (Nikki & The Corvettes) are also in the offing.

King Of Power Pop opens with "C'mon Let's Go!", with Collins recalling simpler times in a classic rock n roll courtship song. "Do You Wanna Love Me" is catchy early rock n roll with a blues base that will get your toes tapping. "Hurting's On My Side" shows off Collins' melodic sensibilities in a melancholy but poignant bit of songwriting that's a nice change of pace. "Don't Blame Your Troubles On Me" is catchy, guitar-driven rock; a great listen. Collins channels pure nostalgia on his cover of The Box Tops' "The Letter". Collins manages to make the song his own without changing a thing, a nice feat. "Kings Of Power Pop" is a fun tune about how Collins came to be where he is today; it's the rock n roll dream that anyone who's ever strapped on an electric guitar has had. "This Is America" ends up sounding like a recasting of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire". The chorus is different, but the mode and method of the song and the list-filled lyrics are just too close to not be compared. Collins closes with "You Tore Me Down", a bland dictation of 1960's rock style that just doesn't have the pizzazz you'd expect in a closing number.

Paul Collins starts strong on King Of Power Pop, but struggles to bring it home at the same level he started out at. Collins is a deft songwriter when at his best, and Collins is inspired at times on King Of Power Pop, but much of the second half of the album ends up sounding contrived. Even at that, the best of the material on King Of Power Pop will be balm for those who miss the days of Power Pop.

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Paul Collins at Of Power Pop is available from on CD, Vinyl or as a Download.  The album is also available from iTunes.

1 comment:

rocknrollmachine said...

It's weird, "You Tore Me Down" is actually a cover of a song by an underground rock band called The Flamin' Groovies. On the positive side, Collins' cover version of "The Letter" is a harder-rocking version of The Box Tops' hit song from the 60s and a fitting tribute to the late Alex Chilton from Box Tops and Big Star. Collins' song "Many Roads To Follow" was originally a song he recorded and performed with Peter Case in The Nerves. The song "Hurting's On Me" reminds me of Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle.