The Campbell Stokes Sunshine Recorder: Makes Your Ears Smile (Jack O’ The Green, 2009)
Besides being a major contributor to a) the greatest music magazine Shindig! b) the greatest reissue label Rev-Ola, Andy Morten is also making pop music under the name The Campbell Stokes Sunshine Recorder. Unlike Shindig! and Rev-Ola, The Campbell Stokes Sunshine Recorder might not be one of the greatest things in the world, but it’s truly enjoyable pop music nevertheless. Andy Morten used to be in a great british psychedelic power pop group Bronco Bullfrog that released some fine albums before breaking up some years ago. He wrote a major share of their great songs so he has proved himself as a great pop tunesmith even before The Campbell Stokes Sunshine Recorder.
Makes Your Ears Smile does what the title promises. It’s a really good uplifting pop record that contains melodic pop treats that somehow keep the sun up even though your calendar states that sunset should have happened an hour ago. Only minor flaw for me is that there a couple of lyrics that I don’t like at all. Especially the opening track entitled Track One tries to be a bit too witty and it manages to spoil that otherwise good song for me. But mostly Makes Your Ears Smile contains really good pop music with traces of psychedelia here and there. Songs like Olivia’s Plaything and She Looks Good In The Sun are marvellous, but I must say that my favourite The Campbell Stokes Sunshine Recorder so far is that psychedelic pop jewel Elliot Sunshine from the Shindig! compilation. If that song is from the upcoming up second album, the sun is indeed shining for Andy Morten and things look really promising.