Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Review: Broken Promise Keeper "Poptimized"

Broken Promise Keeper (BPK) - a one-man (Rob Stuart) studio band based in Decatur, Georgia - is back with "Poptimized", the follow-up to last year's best kept powerpop secret (shhh...it was called "Ice Cold Pop" and our review can be found here).

True to the name, "Poptimized" makes every effort to incorporate all of the criteria that make a wonderful and memorable pop record. Stuart continues to put substance over style, so while the melodies dazzle, the production is more on the lo-fi, garage pop end of the spectrum. But in the case of BPK, this just adds to the charm. "Scarred For Life" is a terrific little rocker that kick things off, bristling with guitar tones and riffs that sound like early 80s new wave (a bit of old school R.E.M. mixed with The Romantics). "Hyperdriven" continues along these lines, with enough Star Trek references to keep any fan of sci-fi happy. "Today I Do" is an all too honest account of one's feelings towards others ("Today I love you more than yesterday, but as far as tomorrow - that's another day"), with a decent hook adorned with plenty harmonies and some fun handclaps. "Pray For Rain" is also full of interesting moments and is augmented with some snappy tapping on the piano. "Promises" is another highlight covering the topic of time-weary relationships, but its perky beat (accented with more piano tapping) underscores the optimism trying to be expressed. "Sad But True" is probably one of the most upbeat rocking songs Stuart has put to tape and is one of my favorites on the record.

Like I mentioned, BPK is music by a man who knows and loves pop music - he has a real passion for it. Production value is limited, but if you can put that aside, you've got another infectious record by BPK.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9

Broken Promise Keeper : Official site.

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