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Saturday 28 October 2023

Portable Radio - Counting To Three


Portable Radio's debut album is a real favourite of ours. So good that it appeared in our Best 100 albums of 2021. It revealed a mastery of West Coast Sunshine Pop that just oozed melody and harmony. You can read the review of that self titled album here.

It is also great to see Robyn Gibson involved. The Junipers were one of the first bands that we covered all those years ago at the start of IDHAS and I loved the Bob Of The Pops adventures. Fans of Portable Radio's debut (and there are many) will not be disappointed with the follow up, quite the reverse.

Counting To Three is awash with wonderful vocal harmonies and singalong choruses with some magnificent arrangements. The vibe is still largely California 60s. Plenty have try to get this period nailed, few succeed and too many albums just wash over you in an air of nothingness. This album doesn't.

I have to direct you first to the song that the album revolves around. Absentee is an absolute crackerjack of a song. More than a little Beach Boys vocally, a killer chorus and most relevant, a baroque arrangement that is outstanding and turns piano pop into something much much more. It is a song that is worth the admission alone.

Counting To Three though enters into different genres. Where There Is Love is Disco Pop with a Philly Soul orchestral arrangement and more than a Rock Your Baby instrumental feel. Not Today is more than a little Gilbert O'Sullivan I Feel Like A Dog is McLagan like Piano Pop, part UK Glam Rock, part 70s Pop Rock.

Fancy Like Champagne is all happy clay with a great Brass arrangement. Song for Alison & Ted is top notch 80s Indie Pop that you can imagine being an American Sitcom Theme. Live Wire is graced with an unexpected synth line that is particularly 80s.

I felt it would be difficult to better that debut album. The fact that Portable Radio have bettered it is a great credit to all. Counting To Three will certainly appeal to all the yearning Jellyfish fans out there and will be high in this year's Best 100 Albums. Absolutely Excellent!

You can listen to and buy the album on Vinyl or as a download here.


1 comment:

  1. Wow! Is this not as good as anything released in this genre in a long time. Thanks for turning me on. I guess that is the idea!