IGNORED OBSCURED RESTORED
Occasionally we’re pleasantly surprised when an artist steps out of their more recognized bandmate’s shadow to offer us a gem of an effort that exceeds expectations.
Based on George Harrison’s earlier Beatles contributions (excepting, of course, his two awesome contributions to Abbey Road), who would have thought he could deliver the triple album of influential, majestic songs that was All Things Must Pass. Mick Jones amazed many when his Big Audio Dynamite albums were more contemporary sounding than much of Joe Strummer’s work after The Clash. And although no one would dispute Paul Westerberg was the leading creative force behind The Replacements, you have to give credit to bandmate Chris Mars for his solo work on Horseshoes and Hand Grenades.
Sticking with this theme, today’s SotW is by Mikal Cronin, best known for his work as the bass player for the prolific Bay area garage rocker Ty Segall. But Cronin released his second solo album this year, MCII, and it is a jewel. The album is chock full of power pop songs, with strong, memorable melodies and nice harmonies.
The song most recognized (and with the most plays on Spotify) is “Weight.” But I like “Am I Wrong” a little better, so that’s today’s SotW.
The song follows the template for muscular pop records used by Big Star, Cheap Trick and Matthew Sweet. It has a driving beat, a tough, distorted guitar sound and a slightly out of tune piano solo. Cronin played all of the instruments himself.
The lyric is simple – just a guy wondering if he’s reading the signs correctly. “Am I wrong? I don’t think so.”
As we approach year end, I’m starting to make a mental list of some of my favorite albums for 2013. MKII is on it.
Enjoy… until next week.