When we look back on the year, we may very well find that most of our favourite albums are from the last couple of months, indeed I'd expect many of these albums to be adored a decade on. Right at the front is the magnificent Danny Wilkerson debut album. Known, of course, as one of The Pengwins and to some as the ex Mayor of Annetta North in Texas, Wilkerson has fashioned up one of the great Pop Rock albums. The album features a who's who of collaborators and although, the feel is very much McCartney Pop, many more are brought to mind, 10CC, Andrew Gold and particularly, The Major Labels.
It's no secret that I pine for another Major Labels album, Aquavia remains one of my favourite albums ever. That influence is particularly prevalent on Carry The One and You Still Owe Me A Kiss and it'll be no surprise to find two thirds of the band are collaborators on Wilkerson. Bleu McAuley's Top 40 aims with other artists, can mask his musical knowledge and ear for a melody. but when you get him on Power Pop, he is an absolute master, he knows which buttons to press, He presses all of them here. The arrangements are superb.
Likewise, Ducky Carlisle's involvement and mixing of half the album, shines through.Guest Appearances by Roger Joseph Manning Jr and Pat Buchanan only add to the quality. Special mention also to the Spyderpop label, a label close to my heart. Any label that has Lannie Flowers and Chris Church on it is worth your attention. You can now add Danny Wilkerson.
Wilkerson's songwriting shines through. There's also some fine song sequencing. On a debut album, it would have been easy to open something upbeat and chirpy to open proceedings. Something like the second track, Enough For Somebody, would have done the trick. Instead, Everyone Loves To Love opens proceedings. Everyone Loves To Love is a 5 minute extravaganza, it's like ten songs in one, almost a megamix of what is to come. The Andrew Gold reference largely comes from Too Much Of A Good Thing is Gold to a tee, a wonderful singalong.
I've played a couple of songs on the Radio Show, Carry The One being one, a particular favourite, it reminds me a lot of Velveteen Queen, the sort of song that Paul McCartney used to write, soothing and anthemic. How She Lost My Heart is a corking slice of Psych Pop with a harpsichord solo.
There's not a duffer amongst these ten songs, if you want to sing the choruses, there's plenty, if you want something slower and chilled, you have it too. Melodic excellence, beautifully written, beautifully arranged. Wilkerson is an absolute masterpiece.
You can buy the album at Spyderpop or the likes of Amazon. You can also listen to sound samples and buy the vinyl at CD Baby.