Discovering great discs like the new one from Bobby Emmett (formerly of The Sights) helps to remind me why I started this blog in the first place. I am panning for gold when listening to the stacks of CDs piled up on my desk and when I heard the first couple notes off “Learning Love” I knew I hit pay dirt.
Bobby Emmett, a Detroit native who also plays in Shooter Jenning‘s band, has delivered a treasure trove of power pop goodies on “Learning Love”. Not surprisingly, an album with a title such as this is a meditation on the pros and cons of being in love, but it doesn’t come off as simplistic or sappy at all. What really stands out are the catchy melodies and memorable riffs – and “Learning Love” has more than its fair share. Highlights include the crunchy opener “Queen of Hearts”, the crowd pleasing “Still Wanna Be With You” (complete with some retro surf guitar), and “Moving Ahn”, which brilliantly shifts between psychedelic verses and a juicy pop rock chorus.
As an interesting aside, Emmett admits that the record has “a very classic 70’s feel and timbre to it” due to the fact that it was recorded with vintage gear from that era (and the bubble gum harmonies add to this retro feel). While I can hear those 70s vibes, “Learning Love” also sounds quite contemporary to my ears and is clearly one of the best power pop records of the year. Don’t miss this one – it was the best 30 minutes I’ve spent in front of the stereo in a long time!
Recommended if you like Eugene Edwards, The Merrymakers, and Greenberry Woods.
iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10
Bobby Emmett on MySpace.