I just ate up the debut CD from retro popsters Vinyl Candy. Now they have returned with the sophomore effort, “Land”. Like its predecessor, “Land” is drenched in Southern California sunshine, radiating with lush harmonies and sparkling melodies. There are all sorts of sweets in the Vinyl Candy bowl, flavors of bubblegum pop, psychedelic rock, pop rock, and more.
The musicianship, production, and vocals are amazing, dressing up songs that Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. himself probably wishes he’d written. Each song goes the extra mile to create a unique listening experience, but still play cohesively from track 1 to track 13. No matter what they do, Vinyl Candy has a distinct retro sound that classic pop fans will love to sink their teeth into.
In addition to the slick pop, “Land” also showcases more of a hard rock side to Vinyl Candy, as evidenced on tracks like “Fan Club History” and “Star Struck” that bring a little 70s-era Kiss to mind. The lead off track “I’ll Be Fine” is my favorite, but you’d be remiss to miss the excellent “All Along the Way”, “Gasoline and Tangerines”, and “Learn How To Fly”. I also liked the more laid back and stripped down (for Vinyl Candy, at least) ballad, “Want It So Bad”.
“Land” is a concept album about a rock star’s rise and fall, yet it is just impossible to listen to these grand and sunny songs without feeling better…and they are so catchy that the tunes and your good mood will last long after the last note is heard. Check out Vinyl Candy if you like Queen, Jellyfish, or ELO.
iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 11