Monday, May 12, 2008

Ken Sharp -- Sonic Crayons (Unpublished 2007 Review)

Ken Sharp -- Sonic Crayons (Jet Fighter)

It’s been a while since Sharp put out his last disc, but rest assured, his pop instincts are still intact. In fact, the second song on his latest effort is a top notch bit of psych-pop (a little psych, a lot of pop). “The Man Who Couldn’t Be Wrong” sounds like a great lost Jellyfish track, with sterling lead guitar work, and fairly indignant lyrics.

Sharp looks back to more innocent times on the ‘70s AM radio style ballad “Candy”. This is a quality love song akin to artists like The Vandalias and Linus Of Hollywood. The song reaches towards the sublime after a breezy instrumental break. The emotional quality of the track is ratcheted up a couple of notches and the sadness reaches its peak with a pretty piano interlude and then stretches out with heavenly backing vocals near the end.

The electric piano makes an appearance on the slinky “Rush Rush”, an R & B inflected number in the vein of mid-‘70s Bee Gees (if Michael Quercio was the lead singer).

There are some crunchy big guitar numbers with indelible riffs, the best being “New Attitude”. Sharp deftly balances quiet acoustic verses with the larger than life choruses.

The only caveat is that Sharp’s voice may be an acquired taste for some. If you missed or didn’t get my reference to the Three O’Clock’s Quercio, let’s just say that Sharp sounds quite boyish. Which may be proof that having such a deep knowledge of pop keeps Ken Sharp forever young.


The Time Machine said...

This is album that is a "must have" for any fan of rockin' pop!

"Sonic Crayons" was one of most played albums on the radio for 2007 and continues that streak for 2008.

It was worth the wait but here's hoping that Ken Sharp treats us to more fantastic songs before another seven years pass.


The Time Machine said...

Oops! Sorry...that previous opening statement should have read "This album is a 'must have' for any fan of rockin' pop!".

Sorry for the typing error.


Anonymous said...

boyish? his vocals sound more girlish! awful