Review: Lemon Sparks Debut LP
The new LP from Lemon Sparks is different from anything you’ve likely heard this year. Yet, their sound is eerily familiar. Its pleasing melodies and hook-filled choruses place it a cut above most power pop releases. But it’s the arrangements that make it something truly special.
Other than a cover version of Big Star’s “Thirteen”, all songs on The Lemon Sparks’ LP are written or co-written by lead vocalist and guitarist Jeff Carroll. Greg Tourian (drums) and Rick Lassiter (bass) round out the line-up. Each make invaluable contributions, serving as a great example of the total exceeding the sum of its parts.
With its lazy, sunshine pop vibe, “You Know This” gets things off on the right foot with a melody that will stick with the listener almost immediately. I’ve always wondered why artists attempt to cover standards such as the afrementioned “Thirteen” but Lemon Sparks do a great job with this, too. The cascading arpeggios really add something special and in the process, the guys make this classic song their own. “Turn Our Love Around”, a song about a relationship gone off course, reminds me of mid-career Marshall Crenshaw. The more mid-tempo “Carl Wilson’s Way” is a poppy number that one can imagine Phil Collins having a hit with in his hey-day.
My favorite track on the LP may be “Pennies In My Pocket”, with its soulful sound and smooth, laid back feel. The incredibly hooky chorus and wonderful string arrangements make this track something really special.
If you missed this one earlier (it was actually released at the tail end of last year), I suggest you give it a listen. Some of the arrangements are nothing short of inspiring and there is no shortage of smooth, cool melodies and hooks that stick. Get their latest CD HERE.
NOTE: For those in the Carboro NC area, Lemon Sparks will be appearing with The Stars Explode at The Station on Dec 4. You may remember The Stars Explode from their only release, one in which Will Rigby of dBs played drums. We reviewed a The Stars Explode live performance way back in 2012. I don’t believe he appears with the band live, but then one never knows….