Songs for the General Public

Songs for the General Public

If it weren’t any more clear that The Lemon Twigs are loyal to classic-rock touchstones, then look no further than “Hell on Wheels,” the opening track to their third LP, where the Long Island, New York, duo of brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario manage to cram in Sparks’ rock-heavy pop, Jim Steinman-esque piano strut, and Bob Dylan vocal impersonations over a surging orchestral backdrop. Since they formed in 2015, the duo hasn’t been shy about tackling grand ideas and concepts; after all, they did write a rock opera about a chimpanzee raised by human parents (starring rock elder statesman Todd Rundgren as the father, no less) in 2018’s Go to School. But on Songs for the General Public, the brothers continue to revere ’70s power-pop songcraft with a theatrical bent—turning more inward as they come to realize that love and heartbreak go hand in hand. For every note-perfect guitar solo (“The One”), there are quirky, proggy touches of electric organ (“Only a Fool,” in which they keep things fun and upbeat as they shrug off romantic pursuits). On “Hog,” Brian cheekily laments the love he’s come to hate over a Badfinger-like power ballad: “Who is this hog? You once were an angel full of glitter/Now of shit.”

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