We were first introduced to Scott Gagner as part of Town and Country, then through his solo effort under the name Cartographer. Both EPs made quite an impression back in 2008. Now Gagner is back with his debut full-length record, “Rhapsody In Blonde”, and no longer hiding behind the name Cartographer.
“Rhapsody In Blonde” begins with one of the most instantly likeable guitar riffs you’re bound to hear all year – a snappy little riff that reminds me of a beach party for some reason. Hand claps and harmonies decorate this power pop confection called “I Hate To Say” but, to be to fair, this sunny treat is not representative of the rest of the album. Most of the other tunes are considerably mellower, but that is not to say that they are boring by any means. “Speak and Spell” is a delightful mid-tempo treat with a clever melodic line from the Todd Rundgren songbook. “Laura No. 1” combines classic doo-wop chord progressions with modern power pop sounds – a unique ear worm. With the rugged “Take Two”, he channels Jason Falkner during his Grays days.