Where this came from, I’ll never know, but I’m sure glad it came nonetheless. Possibly simultaneously two decades — at least! — behind and ahead of any pop music around, the Academy (not to be confused with the short-lived ’60s folk band) craft pop that’s so steeped in oblivious charm, so steeped in Adult Contemporary idiom, it’s obvious the Bloomington, Indiana, trio spent a good deal of time juggling their Journey and John Waite records alike during the recording of their self-titled debut. And that’s not meant as a slight in the least; after all, the aforementioned individuals made no qualms about their mass-appeal music, offering up the big hooks, the sublime simplicity, the good amount of gloss, that wanted nothing more to stir the listener so much as to warrant ad infinitum listens, even if it was just one singular song. But how does this all figure into The Academy? For one thing, the songs seep into the skin after a mere one listen, and they don’t make you feel guilty for diggin’ such lightweight yet still very adult fare. For another thing, the album’s produced well (reportedly, it was recorded in a basement or shed or something), and that accounts for a lot, especially when the production is of the variety that could’ve ended up on a Chicago record (remember: never sublimate the hooks!). Only Koufax is doing anything remotely close to what the Academy is, and for the sake of being protectionist, I’m infinitely thankful for that.
Flat Earth, 6900 S. Gray Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46237; http://www.flatearthrecords.com