Monday, January 5, 2015
Meet The Jeanies!
What I appreciate about The Jeanies is that they capture not just the sound of classic power pop, but also its spirit. Singer/guitarist Joey Farber is a fine songwriter with a deep affection for an era of rock n' roll that celebrated teenage romance above all else. If you share my mindset that there is nothing better in life than falling in love and nothing worse than breaking up, The Jeanies are a band you will surely "get". Farber is like a modern day Marshall Crenshaw or Tom Petty - a rock n' roll traditionalist with a keen ear for melody. And he's crafted a splendid collection of songs on this excellent debut. Opening tracks "I Seen Her Dance" and "I Think You're The Wrong One" (the best 20/20 song I've heard in decades!) would both be hit singles if 1979 had never ended. But while power pop has always been a singles genre, the best bands always manage to deliver front-to-back strong albums. And that's exactly what The Jeanies have done here. Touching on everything from rootsy rock n' roll ("The Girl's Gonna Go") to Byrds via Petty jangle ("Believe Me Jenny") to doo-wop/girl group harmonics ("That's The One") to '66 Who stylings ("The Kids Are No Good"), this album is like a tour through the history and pre-history of power pop. And it's given such a fresh treatment that it will appeal not just to teenagers at heart, but also to actual teenagers (albeit ones with very good taste).
At some level, this is music built on a nostalgia for a time long passed - when young men still daydreamed of accompanying pretty girls to malt shops and three minute pop songs ruled the radio. But The Jeanies aren't so much attempting to turn back the clock as they are trying to keep a timeless musical form alive. I can't help but be impressed with the quality of the song craftsmanship and the crisp execution of the harmonies. I've been collecting classic power pop records for most of my life, and The Jeanies' first album easily slides in there with the best of 'em.