Back in the good ol’ days, Power of Pop focused mainly on the Pop Underground – melodic pop-rock inspired by the 60s/70s. Much of the content is no longer available and so this special feature will correct that oversight. Get ready to be educated, hipster kids!

WISELY – Parador (Not Lame, 2006)

Wisely returns with a rustic snapshot of arch powerpop that (largely) eschews orchestration for a more earthy flavour. Gone is the lush soft pop Wisely has long been associated with and in its place a pleasing sinewy melodic folk-rock that grabs hold of your heart from track one and never lets go.

Wisely is backed by a crack band consisting of some of L.A.’s finest viz. guitarist Paul (Mr. Big) Gilbert, keyboards player/co-producer Linus of Hollywood, bassist Bruce (Supremium) Witkin, guitarist Ben (Sugarplastic) Eshbach, multi-instrumentalist Petur (ex-Naked) Smith, Probyn (Wondermints) Gregory amongst others.

Wiseley’s music on Parador is comparable to the erudite powerpop being churned out by the likes of Jason Falkner, Rusty Anderson, David Mead, Jon Brion and Brendan Benson. Which is another way of saying that Parador is highly recommended to Power of Pop readers and then some!

By and large, the muscular guitar pop-rock of “Stayin’ Home Again,” “Altitudes,” “Joke” and “Drink Up” dominates Parador but good variety is provided by the country-folky “Too Quick To Love,” the pastoral “Erase Me” and the jazzy “Who Blew Out The Sun?”.

Bright Californian pop that balances the sunshine and melancholy moments to sheer perfection. A


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