Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Review: Mark Bacino "Queens English"

Mark Bacino is playing the role of the Woody Allen of power pop on his latest release, "Queens English". The title is not what you might think of at first - here, "Queens" refers to the famous borough in New York City.

For the unfamiliar, Bacino is a New York-based singer/songwriter who has gained quite the following in the power pop world. If you like his influences, which include The Beatles, Beach Boys, Harry Nilsson, and Randy Newman, odds are you'll appreciate Bacino's brand of music. "Queens English" marks his third album, following 1998's "Pop Job" and 2003's "Million Dollar Milkshake"...geez, has it really been seven years?!

The title track is clearly a runaway standout and a great way to kick off the "Queens English" record. Rocking, witty, and infectiously catchy, power poppers could not ask for more. I wish there were more like this one on the album. He takes an abrupt left turn with the significantly slower "Happy", which is ironically one of the most melancholy tunes in the bunch. "Muffin in the Oven" is classic Bacino and a perfect prelude to "Camp Elmo", where his Nilsson influence really sparkles. In fact this song sounds like something Nilsson could have written for Sesame Street. "Angeline & the Bensonhurst Boy", "Middle Town", and "Who Are Yous?" are some of the strongest highlights on the record for me. Overall, the record seems a bit laid back and downbeat compared to previous efforts, but the slower tunes are still fun to hear as so much thought went into the song structure, harmonies, and horns.

On "Queens English", Bacino weaves his stories of parenthood into a melodic tapestry against the backdrop of New York City. Fans of Bacino will fall in love with "Queens English" in a New York minute. For the rest of you, it might take two minutes, but you'll fall in love with it nonetheless.

iPOD-worthy: 2, 4, 6, 9, 11

Join Mark's mailing list and Get A Free mp3 from "Queens English"

Mark Bacino on MySpace. Official site.

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