13 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Before The Pop signed to Arista Records—whose label heads demanded the band record a glossy guitar-pop album to compete with The Cars—it played melodious power pop on par with Dwight Twilley, The Records, and Shoes. The Pop's eponymous 1978 debut album opens strong with “You Oughta Know,” a prime example of the Velcro-catchy music coming out of the Los Angeles underground during the late '70s and early '80s. The only thing that sounds better than those cascading vocal harmonies soaring from the chorus could be the punctuated guitar tones popping out of “Down on the Boulevard.” The Pop succumbs to its genre’s prerequisite Rickenbacker jangle on “Saturday Night Hitch Hiker,” but that sound is cleverly contrasted with garage-rock distortion and raspy singing in the verses, which set up a contagious chorus. With similarly infectious guitar parts, “Ad Man” reveals that The Pop’s knack for writing unforgettable melodies wasn’t limited to vocal parts. A meritable cover of The Kinks’ “I Need You” is an album standout, as is the gritty bonus track “Night Run.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Before The Pop signed to Arista Records—whose label heads demanded the band record a glossy guitar-pop album to compete with The Cars—it played melodious power pop on par with Dwight Twilley, The Records, and Shoes. The Pop's eponymous 1978 debut album opens strong with “You Oughta Know,” a prime example of the Velcro-catchy music coming out of the Los Angeles underground during the late '70s and early '80s. The only thing that sounds better than those cascading vocal harmonies soaring from the chorus could be the punctuated guitar tones popping out of “Down on the Boulevard.” The Pop succumbs to its genre’s prerequisite Rickenbacker jangle on “Saturday Night Hitch Hiker,” but that sound is cleverly contrasted with garage-rock distortion and raspy singing in the verses, which set up a contagious chorus. With similarly infectious guitar parts, “Ad Man” reveals that The Pop’s knack for writing unforgettable melodies wasn’t limited to vocal parts. A meritable cover of The Kinks’ “I Need You” is an album standout, as is the gritty bonus track “Night Run.”

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