Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Best Albums You Never Heard

By Kurt Torster

Drake Bell - It’s Only Time (2006)

One of the secret joys about being a parent is being able to watch kids shows without any feelings of guilt whatsoever. One show that my boys watch over and over is Nickelodeon’s Drake & Josh, and I’m there with them every time. Just puts me in the mind of an 80s sitcom, a genre sadly missing from the television these days.

We bought this disc as a gift for my youngest and he would play it night and day, loudly. But, I sure as hell took notice because this was far from what I expected it would be. Obviously the boy was raised right musically because it would have been all too easy for him to release some over processed, auto-tuned mess rather than this power pop blast of goodness.

Seemingly inspired by Jellyfish, Paul McCartney and Cheap Trick, it’s standard three chord rock that far exceeds any sort of expectations. Not that I’m complaining, because it’s so easy to hit repeat on a track like the riffy and oh-so-hit-worthy title track, which not only reaches for the rafters but proceeds to blow the roof off. The same could be said for the sunny day 70s pop of “Makes Me Happy” or the acoustic take of the Drake & Josh theme song “I Found A Way” which continue this poptastic streak.

But, it’s songs like the vaudevillian opener “Up Periscope,” the pure piano pop of “I Know” or the deep Beatlesque “Fool The World” that elevate this far above typical teen idol fare.

On the musical front, Drake has been awfully quiet other than some live shows (where he actually covers Jellyfish’s “Joining A Fan Club” and nails it). I heard a new track from an album that’s been forever due and though it has an almost industrial touch shows a lot of promise and still very much in the power pop world.


My hmphs said...

Ah yes. It's the mark of a true power pop fan that you cover "Joining a Fan Club." And he does a good job of it too. I proudly admit to having this on my iPod, where I often have to (and Mandy Moore's "Amanda Leigh") say, "No, it's really good. Seriously. Stop making that face."

Anonymous said...

Saw Drake Bell play a gig at the Borderline in London in January. Venue holds 250, & was packed with teenagers & a few parents, + my girlfriend & I. The bar area was quiet (regarding selling alcohol - there was quite a lot of screaming at times). But as expected most of the music was excellent, including some good new tracks. Sadly though didn't play "Joining a Fan Club".