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Posted by on May 22, 2024 in Music, News, Powerpop |

Rome 56 – Paradise Is Free

Rome 56 – Paradise Is Free

In the mid 70’s, The Shirts could be heard routinely at CBGBs and other NYC clubs. The band’s single “Tell Me Your Plans” would earn them the coveted “big in Japan” label – although in this case, it was The Netherlands. From that initial single through 4 more LPs, including 2006’s The Tiger Must Jump, founding member Arthur Lamonica, was there. Now in 2024, he’s back with his wife Kathy and a new band (sorta). Rome 56’s Paradise Is Free is a collection of a dozen pop songs, one catchier than the next. 

Secret Agent Pop

With overtones of mystery and international intrigue, The Man Behind The Man With A Gun” sounds as if it were created for use in a James Bond film. It even has a similar retro guitar sound to Johnny Rivers’ “Secret Agent Man”.  The jangly “Give Myself Up To You” shows off his more than respectable vocal prowess. “Hustle of the Crowd” features a great guitar hook and swirling keyboards circa 70’s new wave. 

On first listen, the lead vocal for “Invisible Man” may remind you of Elvis Costello. After repeated listens, I can’t decide if it’s more Costello or Lou Reed. Either way, it sounds great. Handclaps and a hooky chorus make the title track memorable. Other standouts include “The Midnight Sun” and the piano driven “Some Say”, the latter of which also reminds me a bit of Costello.

Lamonica’s “band” consists of musicians on both sides of the pond. The album includes contributions from Loek Nooter (guitar), Derek Clever (electric guitar & bass), Amy Lippman (bass), Nino Canna (drums), Edgar Goss (drums), Anna Gand (drums & keys), Kasper Stern (bass), Anna Roosje De Blecourt (vocals), and Tseroeja Van Den Bos (viola).

Get Rome 56’s Paradise Is Free

Arthur and Kathy Lamonica’s new one is a wonderful surprise. You can get your copy of Rome 56’s Paradise Is Free anywhere fine music is sold including Amazon Music (digital & CD), Bandcamp (digital or CD) and Proper Music (CD). For fans of The Shirts, catchy melodies and guitar oriented power pop.