Monday, 16 January 2017
Ken Sharp - New Mourning
I've long been an admirer of Ken Sharp as an author, musician and supporter of Power Pop. His books on Cheap Trick and The Raspberries are ones I return to regularly and his 1997 Power Pop Conversations tome is essential.
It's been almost 10 years since 2007's wonderful Sonic Crayons album and New Mourning is worth the wait. I knew what to expect, a real upbeat sound, what I didn't expect were such sad lyrics. Listening to the lyrics isn't usually a prerequisite of Power Pop, it's usually a dash to the chorus, but these words are dark and aching. a welcome departure, contrasting with the joy of the hooks.
Don't be put off by Sharp bearing his soul though, because these 14 songs are an object lesson in how to build a Power Pop album. Everything is present, the sweet vocals, the riffs, the harmonies and the solos,
Fernando Perdomo and Rob Bonfiglio, from the wonderful Wanderlust, are ever present and Perdomo's co-production with Sharp is, as expected, spot on. Both know their way round a Power Pop Song.
It doesn't end there though. Pop Rock royalty also make guest appearances. Sharp is assisted by Rick Springfield, The Babies' Wally Stocker, The Knack's Prescott Niles and my beloved New England's Jimmy Waldo.
My only request of Ken Sharp is not to leave it nine years until the next one. New Mourning is Power Pop at it's best.
You can listen to and buy the album here.