Allan Kaplan – Notes on a Napkin
A combination of keen pop sensibilities, well executed song craft and deft delivery make Allan Kaplan’s Notes on a Napkin one of the most pleasant surprises of early 2021. There are 11 songs in total, each and every one worthwhile.
The metaphorical “One Big Parade”, co-written with Steve Stoeckel of The Spongetones, gets us off to a great start. Kaplan’s deep voice contrasts sharply with the familiar clarity in Stoeckel’s, making for a very entertaining juxtaposition.
The incredibly catchy “Notes on a Napkin” is next up. This earworm has everything – a monster hook, ringing guitars and great lyrics. If the really cool bass line doesn’t get you on “Local Bus Station” then the engaging arrangement will. About midway through, the song kicks into overdrive and it’s absolutely delightful.
In the sneaky good department, we have “Wonder Where the Angels Are”. Every album needs a tempo change here and there so it serves that purpose. That said, it’s anchored by another great hook and most notably contains my favorite lyric of 2021. “If the devil’s in the details, I wonder where the angels are”.
Jamie Hoover produced the first half of the album and his work is stellar as always.
While only the title track is currently available, I’m told that the entirety of Allan Kaplan’s Notes on a Napkin will be made available through Bandcamp on Monday May 3. GET YOUR COPY HERE.