The world may seem like The Amazing World Of Kreskin presently, so it is nice to have the odd constant. In the world of what is and isn't Power Pop, two solo artists have always shone through. One is Nick Piunti, the other Greg Pope. Both provide consistently excellent albums and their trademark is quality. You are never going to be disappointed with any of their releases, quite the opposite.
The ex Edmund's Crown guitarist, Pope, has become one of Nashville's finest with a splendid solo career dating back to 2008 when the Popmonster album hit the stores. Nine releases on, it is heart warming that I still get excited when I get a new Greg Pope album.
His last two albums, A Few Seconds Of Fame (IDHAS Review here) and Guiding Star (here), have been as wonderful as ever, but less up and at 'em. There are still the killer rock out riffs and big choruses present, but these are accompanied by more serene, thoughtful songs. As such, Pope fits far more in the Pop Rock category, than Power Pop, but the enjoyment is enhanced.
Wishing On A Dark Star continues the recent trend,. This album is very laidback, beautifully so. You still have the bust outs, Vacation (From My Vacation) sets a rapid pace. You also have the unusual arrangements, Blue Skies above in particularly has a fascinating arrangement in a great vocal harmony setting. But the majority of the album is unexpectedly chilled which is all very welcoming.
Pope's mellow vocals are ideally suited to the material. Gone is top notch 70s Pop Rock, very Explorers Club with harmonies to match. When The Road Road Began is an acoustic ballad that is almost Country, Crawling Back To You is moody and melancholic built around an hypnotic riff.
Jump Back From The Light is a jaunty Acoustic led joy and Wildest Dreams has one of those trademark Pope Guitar Solos that is worth the admission alone. The general feel is very Laurel Canyon, and the title track would adorn any Pop Rock album that you would care to mention. A Special mention must go to Care, a splendid beautifully arranged opening song, co-written with son, Asher.
You can listen to and buy the album here.