Cheap Star: Speaking Like an Elephant (Z&Zoe Records, 2009)
Cheap Star is this french pop band I mentioned a while back whose album was partly produced by Jon Auer and partly by Ken Stringfellow. Like I said I ordered the album and now when I’ve been listening to it for a few days I have to say this is even greater than I ever could have imagined. I really can’t picture a fan of power pop who wouldn’t love this. Well maybe someone could complain that it sounds too much like The Posies, because it really does sound like them an awfully lot. And well having Ken and Jon singing bit of harmonies and adding a bit of sounds from Frosting On The Beater here and there does not really help me to get rid of that image. However, I don’t mind at all. I love The Posies and now I love Cheap Star.
Obviously it’s not just The Posies connection that I love about them. It may be the reason why I found them, but it’s their own excellent song material and that gorgeous singing that keeps me interested. This is just high quality pop album full of gorgeous melodies and beautiful harmonies. There’s also enough variation to maintain your interest. A lot of Guided By Voices in the title track, some of that Frosting On The Beater-ish power pop elsewhere and a plenty of pure and soft pop gems wrapped around them. Speaking Like An Elephant is a slice of pop heaven and it’s totally my kind of album. It might not be the most original release you’ll ever hear, but it perfectly captures all that was great in the 90’s power pop and beautifully brings it back to life. A truly wonderful album. Just give me a few more days and I probably will change that grade to full five hearts. Part of me would like to do that already.