CD Review: Mark Bacino “Queens English”

New York’s own Mark Bacino is no stranger to power pop greatness. With past efforts like Pop Job…The Long Player! and The Million Dollar Milkshake on my all time great albums list, it was with great anticipation I waited for the next album. Now it’s here and proves that Mark has added maturity and gravitas to his songwriting and he hasn’t lost his pop mojo in the process.

After the idyllic intro we get to the the title track, a love letter to his favorite borough. It’s a rockin’ jam full of guitars, keys and jubilant pop spirit.  Then the album switches gears into a more restrained celebration of domestic bliss starting with the Randy Newmanesque “Happy.”

Following that is the album’s highlight – “Muffin In The Oven” with wonderful horn accents, and a killer guitar solo during the break. “Camp Elmo” and “Bridge & Tunnel” are Harry Nilsson inspired tunes about suburban fatherhood. “Middle Town” and “Ballad of M & LJ” continues the sunny laid back atmosphere of his neighborhood in the folky tradition of John Sebastian. A bit out of place is the ballad “Blue Suit,” so somber it threatens the overall positive vibe, but the whimiscal perspective of a local old-timer on “Who Are Yous?” redeem things. Fans of Mark’s earlier work may be disappointed by the lack of “power” in this pop album, but it stands on its own as an intimate and moving self-portrait.  Fans of Paul Simon’s NYC centered songs will find much to cherish here. Listen to the album streaming at markbacino.com My SpaceCD BabyAmazon