Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Velvet Crush - Teenage Symphonies to God

For a long time this album was the great white whale of power pop. Every power pop resource I scoured for information on excellent power pop albums told me that this album was essential listening. At the time I was building my power pop collection, this album was out of print and selling for exorbitant prices online. All the file sharing sites I visited (note that I tried to purchase an actual copy of the album first. That's how I roll) all had the same poor quality low bitrate rip of this album. I never even made it through the first song of these downloads without deleting them in disgust. I didn't find an actual copy of this album until I happened upon it in a thrift store after at least 5 years of futile searching. Of course the album became available as an Amazon and itunes MP3 album immediately after I bought a hard copy of it. My consolation is that I paid a mere single dollar for this album at the thrift store, and I prefer hard copies to digital copies.

Anyway, my first few spins of this album were tainted by the fact that I had been looking for it for so long. I found it a bit difficult to enjoy because for all my trouble I expected something better than Bellybutton, which is really a stretch for any band not named Jellyfish. Over time I have come to accept Teenage Symphonies to God for what it is: a great power pop album that doesn't sound anything like I expected it to. Most of my favorite power pop album emphasize the pop side of the equation more than the power side (e.g. the aforementioned Bellybutton). This album cranks up the volume a little higher than many albums in the genre, but it still relies on big hooks and tight harmonies. It isn't what I expected, but it's very very good.

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