Shimmering bright, melancholic sunshine pop from former Orange Peel Allen Clapp, taking a wide-eyed, innocent look back to a time when everything came in super-8 format. Both less psychedelic and ironic than anything coming out of the Elephant 6 collective, Clapp still shares with them a fascination for the bright, faded colors of times gone by, and revisits the past in an attempt to instill it in the present.
A multi-instrumentalist if ever there was one, Allen Clapp does most everything on the album himself, without it actually sounding like a one-man thing at all. Kicking off with “Beautiful/Drop Me a Line,” he is quick to showcase his complex arranging skills and his musical breadth on this lovely Billy Joel-meets-10cc track. However, it’s not really until the next song, first single “Whenever We’re Together,” that he truly hits his stride — a lovely track drenched in the sort of late 1960s whimsy and early 1970s piano music that Elton John has been trying to write ever since Captain Fantastic.
If Clapp doesn’t manage to keep up those high standards throughout the entire album, there is still more than enough on here to maintain interest. A bit too sweet and inoffensive at times, this is still never anything less than compelling, and a must-have for any fan of crafted, easy on the ear, piano-based pop music.
March Records: http://www.marchrecords.com