Thursday, February 21, 2008

Superb Pop from a Pop Supergroup

Swag was probably the second big thing I encountered this year (the first being Dolour – discussed some other time). Again, it was basically a random pick from the huge selection of first-class power pop albums released in the 21st century. Catchall (2001) turned out to be something quite amazing for many different reasons.

Lone, the opening track of this album, is an adorable two-minute song. I believe everyone falls in love with that song basically due to its amazingly cheerful doodl-doo-doo-dweedl-doo-doo line. At least that is what happened to me. However, I listened to the other songs on Catchall, and noticed that this album was a collection of wonderful songs sung by several great singers. For starters, there is Robert Reynolds from The Mavericks. He sings (in addition to Lone) e.g. Near Perfect Smile, Please Don’t Tell and Trixie, all of which are great songs. I love Reynolds’s singing voice. It’s irresistibly sweet and pretty.

Doug Powell also shows his talent on this album. I’ll Get by is gorgeous and When She Awoke even better. His singing on When She Awoke is absolutely beautiful. Powell also participates in songwriting all over the album.

Then, there is Jerry Dale McFadden from Sixpence None the Richer. Jerry Dale became sort of a huge attraction to me due to Louise, a song he sang on this album. Louise is a song about a one-night stand. It’s actually quite amazing how the whole idea of a one-night stand is presented here. I think Jerry Dale even makes it sound like quite a good thing. Well, I guess it can be pretty good, then…

The main point is, however, that Louise is one amazing melody, killer chorus and arrangement, let alone Jerry Dale’s amazing singing voice! I still remember how I listened to this song all over again in the beginning of January and was totally stunned by that chorus, the sound of Jerry Dale’s voice, and the glorious violins and timpani.

There are a couple of other participants on this album, too (e.g. Wilco’s Ken Coomer). Swag was a real pop supergroup and they truly produced some pop gems. Catchall is a great collection of nice 60s-influenced music and I guess it’s a pretty nicely balanced album, too.

Swag’s Catchall at Last.fm

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tääkin on ihan mahtava levy! Doug Powellin ja McFaddenin soololevyjäkin kantsii väijyä, itse asiassa ensin mainitun yhtä Japanissa julkaistua EP:tä ois mulla myynnissäkin yksi ekstrakappale (heh, mikä kauppamies!)

Mikko

Melody Freak said...

McFaddeniltä väijyin jo yhden levyn, mutta Powell on toistaiseksi jäänyt paitsioon. Joitakin yksittäisiä biisejä on tullut kuultua, ja nehän ovat olleet ihan mahtavia.

Houkutteleva tarjous kieltämättä.. Jos tuote ei ole kovin hintava, voisin hyvinkin harkita ostoa. Kyseessä lienee Venus DeMilo's Arms.

Anonymous said...

Juu, juuri tuo mini-LP/EP, ei oo kallista, sanotaan vaiks 5 euroa (sis. postit) ja voin laittaa jotain kivaa ekstrayllärilevyä mukaan kuoreen. Otapa yhteyttä sähköpostitse: miklap@utu.fi

Melody Freak said...

No mutta kappas vaan! Tuon koko EP:n saa myös Powellin (mahdollisesti viimeisen) Four Seasons -kiekon osana. Ja kun olen kohtalaisen yli-innokas tällaisten asioiden suhteen, luulen sen Four Seasonsin hankkimisen olevan kannattavampi vaihtoehto.

Kiitos kuitenkin tarjouksesta! Jos nurkissasi lojuu joskus jotain muuta ylimääräistä kiinnostavaa tavaraa, vihjaise ihmeessä.