Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Spongetones - Too Clever By Half (2008) mp3

Jamie Hoover and company are back doing what they do best. One of the finest power pop bands of Beatlesque heritage, The Spongetones have influenced a whole new generation of musicians from James Deem, The Saving Graces, Frank Royster, Cool King Chris, Crisis, Analog Daze, The Dukes of Stratford, Carl Rosen, Lindy Dobbins, The Sammies, and The Everyday Things. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. After we establish the triumphant Rickenbacker jangle of “Invisible Girl” it sets the tone here and then we get to the first great Spongetones classic in “I’d Love You” with it’s “Got To You Into My Life” guitar coda after the chorus. Hoover still has a McCartney-like sense of melody with the easy flowing “Man With No Skin.” And the band has evolved their Fab sound, not unlike the way XTC had done during it’s “Oranges and Lemons” era – the toe tapping “One More Day” is a great example of this. A huge amount of tracks here, eighteen – and it’s almost overwhelming. On the other hand, with a large majority of the music great, you can excuse a bit of indulgence here and there. Sometimes, the earnest romantic vibe strays into maudlin territory, with “Three Kisses For You” sounding like a Frodo Baggins-inspired love ballad.
But even among the really good tracks here, you get a true monster hit like “When it’s you” with an amazing hook that never lets go, and includes vocal harmonic gymnastics that would shame Lindsey Buckingham and chord changes guaranteed to give you goosebumps. This is why others bow to the genius of Mr. Hoover. Then again, Hoover tests the limits of the band, and it’s ability to make quirky pop a la Moe Berg or Andy Partridge. It does work well on “She’s Happenin'” and less so on “Easy with You.” Other worthy classics are comments on this crazy music business, “King Ampersand” and “Your Entourage” are wonderful songs that reflect the musicians’ life. Simple pleasures are found in the bossa nova-styled “Stalemates” and the matter of fact lyrics in “Must Be Lust.” You almost want the band to cut loose even more on “Elvis Doctor” with it’s Hound-Dog beat and guitar swing. Needless to say, this is super-recommended to everyone who loves great music.

One of the great bands who nothing left of her strenghts of writing and arranging wonderful power pop tunes.
Have fun
               SB1   mp3@320


  1. Love these guys! Thanks for posting. If you have this one or the other one you posted in lossless and feel like posting it, I can guarantee at least one taker.

  2. I love The Spongetones! You've been on a tear of posting great power pop! Thanks! - Stinky

  3. Thanks for The Spongetones.
    Jaume from Barcelona.