Friday, May 6, 2016

New Radio Days album!

Whoa! Is it just me, or have Radio Days gone out and made the best power pop album of this decade?! You may recall me raving about the Italian trio's last LP - 2013's wonderful Get Some Action. It didn't seem like Dario and company left themselves much room for improvement, but somehow they've found a way to take it to another level! New album Back In The Day is the power pop masterpiece Radio Days have been working towards for the last 13 years. The band's fourth (and by far best) LP, Back In The Day demonstrates that there's nothing wrong with adhering to a tried-and-true formula if you aspire to perfect it.

Still fluctuating between '64/'65 Beatles worship and '70s power pop classicism, Radio Days seem to be following the Teenage Fanclub playbook and aging like fine wine. Back In The Day sounds like a lost classic from the heyday of The Raspberries, Rubinoos, etc., and that's a testament to the strongest songwriting of the band's career. You can tell these guys really went all out to craft a special collection of songs. I can't think of a single track out of 14 that I would have omitted, and quite a few of these songs are close to pop perfection. This mix of stylistic simplicity and a matured skill set really suits Radio Days - a group that values a perfect melody over all else. And while the band mixes in some stellar outside-the-box selections (the gorgeous baroque number "You Bring Me Down", the boogie rocker "Subway Station Girl", the reggae-tinged "Your Words"), Back In The Day is essentially a parade of should-be radio hits. "I'm In Love With You" and "Back In The Day" ought to be million-seller singles, and that hook part of "Deep Blue Eyes" is worth its weight in gold. Whether your reference point for great pop is the British Invasion ("Why Don't You Love Me Anymore"), '90s indie/alternative ("Out of the Shade"), or '70s AM radio ("Rock 'N' Roll Night"), there's something on this album for you. And seriously: how can you not love a band that blatantly lifts the melody from "Do Want To Know A Secret" and re-works it into an album-closing stunner like "Betta (Are You Feeling Better?)"?

Back In The Day is now available as a digital release from Radio Day's Bandcamp as well as iTunes, Spotify, and CD Baby. Surfin' Ki Records is putting out the vinyl, while Rock Indiana (Spain) and Pop Out Records (Japan) will be releasing the album on CD. If you love power pop, this one's an absolute must-own!


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