The Shazam: Meteor (Not Lame, 2009)
There are a lot of so called power pop bands that don’t take the “power” part of the term very seriously. The Shazam has never been one of them and they’ve been one of the finest rockin’ pop bands since the late 90s. The band went quiet for some time, but thankfully the year 2009 dropped a new pop meteor into our hands. It’s a first The Shazam album in six years, but the quality of the band didn’t fade away during the break. Despite adding a couple of ridicilously bad songs to the album, The Shazam is still among the finest bands in the power pop genre.
Let’s start with the bad things. I really can’t stand Disco at The Fairgrounds one bit. It’s just way too goofy for me and incredibly annoying. On Latherman Saves The World, the glam goofiness actually works and the song is actually really really good. But Disco at The Fairgrounds is just a nightmare on a pop record. Other not-that-good moments are NFU that is destroyed in the chorus by repeating that “not fucked up enough” line over an over again and a boring psychedelic rocker Dreamcrush Machine that never has anything going on that even could be destroyed. However, that’s just three songs. What about the rest? Well let’s rule Time For Pie, Hey Mom I Got The Bomb and that Latherman above as really good stuff and then there’s five songs left. And this is where the rockin’ power pop heaven starts. Power chords, gorgeous singing, huge amount of hooks and thoughtful arrangements. Songs that might seem straightforward rock songs at first can contain surprising amount of details & depth and anything can happen within the songs. The opener So Awesome is a gorgeous rock anthem, while Always Tomorrow throws in some Big Star influences in the verse and angelic chorus on top of that. Let It Fly’s sensitive beginning bursts into a drop-dead-gorgeous power pop chorus while A Little Better is a bit more playful, but equally wonderful. Don’t Look Down makes the tempo a little slower, but don’t alter the quality. Just fabulous stuff altogether. During their finest hour, The Shazam is absolutely wonderful.