Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

CD Review: Sputnik – Shine on…

Sputnik‘s new cd is an Indian summer album: bright, shiny, shimmery yet wistful. Most of it is catchy, upbeat, major-key janglepop with breathy, often totally sultry vocals from frontwoman Genie Morrow. It seems to have been written in the wake of a breakup, considering that a lot of the songs lament the end of a relationship. They’re pretty affecting, too, especially the album’s fourth cut, 2541, which is a street address, the only one shared by a couple prior to their split. The boyfriend apparently kept it: “It’ll probably not be the last time that I have to be out by the first,” Morrow muses. But her songs aren’t sad: there’s a resilience and optimism underneath, and the music bears this out.

There are a ton of supremely catchy numbers on this album: the title track, the rousing Brightest Day of Summer and Ridin’ in My Car, the bouncy Rappaport Account and an impressively fiery cover of the Grass Roots hit Temptation Eyes: Joe Drew’s layers of trumpet, in tandem with the keyboards, give it the feel of an entire horn section blazing away. The album’s best track is Shoot the Curl: “They’ll never ever hurt me,” Morrow sings over and over again, an impressively decisive mantra. The band is effortlessly tight and inspired: guitarist/keyboardist Mic Rains, bassist Pem Roach and former Scout Nigel Rawles on drums have an easy camaraderie with the songs. Since Rawles is involved, you can count on the usual dadaesque between-song found footage, strange studio patter and the like. The album’s silliest moment is the cover of Lou Reed’s Satellite of Love, which one one level makes perfect sense: the band is called Sputnik, after all. But one suspects Rawles wanted to do it just so he could do the “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday with Harry, Mark and John” bit. And it’s as funny as you would expect. Rains adds a shamelessly grotesque heavy blues coda just like the Jack Wagner solo on the Rock N Roll Animal version. This is a good party album, a good driving album, a good ipod album too. Four bagels from Essa Bagel (the best in town).

September 21, 2007 - Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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