Monday, June 28, 2010

Review: Laurie Biagini "A Far-Out Place"

Based on her music, I would have guessed that Laurie Biagini was from sunny California. But no, she is cranking out her retro surf pop from Vancouver BC, Canada. Her latest CD, "A Far-Out Place", picks up where her debut record, "Ridin' The Wave" left off, and was inspired, unsurprisingly, by a 2008 adventure in California.

Biagini's songs have been written, composed, performed and recorded by herself - so she is either very talented or the ultimate control freak. Perhaps she is a little of both. Her sound is undeniably influenced by the Beach Boys, and her brand of beach music is some of the most authentically inspired I've ever heard. Her vocals are somewhat androgynous (think Kyle Vincent), but it is her extraordinarily well-crafted harmonies that will truly impress. Biagini could have easily replaced the B-52s girls.

All of the elements of classic powerpop are present and accounted for on "A Far-Out Place" - harpsichord, multi-layered doo-wop harmonies, and be-bop beats. It is hard not to feel like you are at a beach party with feel-good tunes like "A Far-Out Place", "A Beautiful Dream", and, of course, "Another Old Lazy Lyin' On The Beach Afternoon". But not all of her lyrics are as anachronistic as her music - take the Jerry Lee Lewis sounding "Crazy People On The Internet" for example. Other highlights include the catchy rocker "Leave Me Alone" and "Not The Only Pretty Fish In His Sea". And if you are in the mood for something slower, Biagini has "Sweet Dream Symphony" to offer, sounding like something right out of the Brian Wilson songbook. Fans of The Carpenters will want to take note of "Rockin' My World Like You Only Know How".

If you are a fan of the Beach Boys, Mamas and the Papas, Jan and Dean, or even the B-52s, you won't want to have a record collection without some Laurie Biagini. As her closing track, "I'll Be Back Again", implies, she is currently working on her third album, and preparing for her upcoming live performance at the International Pop Overthrow Festival on August 25 in Vancouver, BC.

iPOD-worthy: 2, 4, 5, 7, 11, 13

Laurie Biagini on MySpace.

Check out the video for the title track to "A Far-Out Place":

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