Bobby Emmett: Learning Love (Self-released, 2009)
I’ve already praised Bobby Emmett a few times and I’ve selected his solo debut Learning Love as the best album of the year 2009. Therefore I won’t write a long review, but still wanted to praise this awesome album one more time. After all, it would be cruel not to review the finest album of the year. It would also be extremely cruel and a crime against pop music if this stunning power pop album just faded into obscurity without people hearing about it and that’s why I NEED to do my extremely minor part in trying to tell the world (or those seven people that regularly read this blog) how wonderful this album is.
Bobby Emmett used to play in The Sights. A really good if not fabulous band from Detroit (I just picked up the albums from my record shelf and noticed that he didn’t play on the great debut album, but appeared as guest on the second album and was a full time member on the third album). Nowadays he is playing in Shooter Jennings’ live band and apparently writing some of the finest power pop songs of the last ten years when he is bored. Learning Love is his magnificent solo debut. It was recorded with vintage equipment and has that 70’s power pop feel on it and time to time it recalls several masters of the era (like Big Star, The Raspberries, Cheap Trick). One of the great things about the record actually is that it has a lot of bits and pieces that reminds me of my favourite bands, but the songs still don’t sound like just half decent pastiches of the old power pop heroes. This is because Bobby Emmett is such a great songwriter and he has written 10 songs that are all gorgeous, catchy and extremely enjoyable. Ok, maybe it isn’t anything completely original but why the hell should it be. It’s just pop music and I love it to bits. Why would I want to bore myself with Kid A’s if I can just dance around in my underwear listening to perfect pop music. Learning Love isn’t totally stuck in the past either. Actually Sloan is the closest comparison if I would have to namedrop one band. It has that same rockin’ but beautiful power pop perfectness going on and Bobby Emmett’s voice sound quite similar as well (Jay Ferguson is also a guest on the record). Anyway, I said I wasn’t going to write a long review, but in the end I’m finding it hard to stop. But I’ll stop now, because there’s no need to go through the songs. They are all either perfect or near-perfect. Learning Love is fantastic album. It might even be my favourite power pop album of the whole decade. At least it’s definitely in the top 10.