Tag Archives: Power Pop

Song Spotlight: Matthew Sweet – “Sick of Myself”

12 Jul

HAD THE GREAT PLEASURE of seeing Matthew Sweet in concert last night. More than just a 90’s flashback, his power-pop and polished songs still sound fresh and had a grit and edge to them on-stage. Especially my favorite song of his, “Sick of Myself.”

Always loved that riff! Was also reminded how much I can relate to the lyrics…

“Is This Power Pop?” 

8 Jun

SOMEONE I ADORE would often jokingly ask, upon me playing different songs for her, “is this power pop?”

See, it was last year, prior to her seeing my all-time favorite band of all-time, that I introduced her to the music of Cheap Trick, to familiarize her to what she would likely here. Describing them as one of the foremost practitioners of my favorite genre of music, that question of what is power pop came up. Surprisingly, I kind of had difficulty describing what is, essentially, power pop! I mean I know power pop when I hear it, but what is it?

Power pop is upbeat, melodic, guitar-driven rock with instantly memorable hooks. It will rock you, but not roll over you with bombast and volume. Its got energy. A good power pop somg will improve your mood and make you a bit happier. It will make you reach for your air guitar and sing out loud – even if you don’t know all the words.

So, what’s a good example of a terrific power pop song? Out of dozens of examples I could think of within a minute, of numerous songs I could include here, recently a song by Cheap Trick (big surprise, right?), “Through the Night,” made for a great example, made me think of that question, and put me in a better mood while being reminded of her. Songs like this I like to call an “Instant Mood Enhancer” because that’s what it did — improved my feelings/mood.

“Through The Night” has all the ingredients needed to make a power pop song: soaring vocals, buzzy guitars, a rocking rhthym attack, and more than enough memorable melodies, not just in the chorus, but in the vocals as well (and the “la la la la la” background vocals are a nice touch, as well).  The bottom line, though, is this song should put a smile on your face, and put you on a better mood.

That is power pop.


#cheaptrick #nowplaying #blog #powerpop

Song Spotlight: Watershed – “Obvious”

17 Mar

THIS BAND WILL BE THE SUBJECT of a much longer post sometime, but meanwhile, enjoy this amazing power-pop gem from Watershed. It’s more than obvious: “Obvious” is a power-pop gem! Perfect for a Friday, and get you in a great mood for the weekend! If you dig guitars, melody, big hooks and insightful lyrics, discover Watershed, now.


In addition to the music, a great way to discover Watershed is via the book about them, written by their bassist/vocalist Joe Ostreich, Hitless Wonder: A Life In Minor League Rock and Roll.


10 Insanely Great Cheap Trick Songs Only Hardcore Fans Know | Rolling Stone

7 Feb

POSTED ONCE BEFORE, LAST YEAR? Does it matter? No, because the songs here are stellar and worth checking out again. Explore some hidden gems “from my all-time favorite band of all-time,” from early-career deep cuts to soundtrack one-offs – such as “Reach Out” and as discussed on the recent WSD podcast episode,“Everything Works (If You Let It)”

Source: 10 Insanely Great Cheap Trick Songs Only Hardcore Fans Know | Rolling Stone

Song Spotlight: Mike Viola – “Everything Is Falling Into Place” 

15 Dec

WHILE LOOKING FOR this artist’s super-cool version of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” I found the song that put him on my radar in the first place.

Mike Viola is ridiculously talented. He co-produced – along with Adam Schlesinger or Fountains of Wayne – the awesome title track for the awesome movie That Thing You Do! which won the Oscars for Best Original Song. He sang lead on that song, as well as the songs the character Jimmy sang in the movie.

Viola has also worked with Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis, Brett Dennen, Andrew McMahon and a slew of others. I love his own work, and it all started with “Everything Is Falling Into Place”


Friday Bonmots & Bullshit: 7/15

15 Jul

IRONY is the often unintentionally funny byproduct of hindsight that comes from a slew of wrong choices.

WHAT IS ‘POWER POP’? Here’s a perfect example: “5th of July” by Watershed. Ringing, major chords? Check. Lyrics you can instantly relate to? Got it. Big harmonies and a hook that sticks in your head? Nails it. Watershed will be the subject of it’s own post soon. They are beyond amazing and

I FORGOT HOW GOOD IT FEELS to have a phone conversation with your significant other. To have your phone call answered, or a voice mail returned. And how good it feels when she calls you, just because she’s thinking about you.

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Song Spotlight: Big Star: “My Life Is Right”

17 Jun

MOST OF THE TIME, when I really pay attention to a song’s lyrics, I’ll only think of how their meaning is relative to my life, current events, etc.

Every now and then I’ll realize that the story the lyrics are telling fit perfectly for someone else besides me. And on rare occasions a song is apropos to me and someone else simultaneously. That’s what I realized when “My Life Is Right” by Big Star came on my mp3 player this morning.

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