Almost two decades ago, I wrote these words.
“I’m so crazy about Speaking of the Davenports that I’m almost scared stiff to write about it.”
That was a review I did of the debut album of The Davenports back in 2000.
Well, it’s 2018 and I have a feeling of déjà vu with Don’t Be Mad At Me, the latest album from The Davenports.
Back then, I was terrified that I could not do justice to the amazing music of The Davenports with my review and once again I am caught in a dilemma.
Except that now it’s worse, because in 2018, it’s virtually impossible for pop music fans to appreciate something with the musical quality of this album.
The melodies, the harmonies, the chord progressions, the use of sophisticated voicings, the authentic classic pop instrumentation and arrangements would seem alien to an audience weaned on dumbed down musical tastes.
But fuck it! The music of The Davenports is instantly timeless and if you cannot savour the sheer beauty of it all, then that is your loss.
Once again, here is music that perfectly encapsulates everything I wholeheartedly endorse as Power Pop Rock N Roll.
Imagine the best influences of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Who, Big Star, Badfinger, The Raspberries et al, poured out from the unique perspective of Scott Klass, the singer and songwriter behind this sumptuous musical feast.
I simply love those moments where I hesitate to name individual tracks as Don’t Be Mad At Me deserves to be enjoyed in its entirety – though the cover of Wham’s “Freedom” is a little strange, to say the least!
But if I had to choose favourites then I must highlight the gorgeous “You Kind of Kept the Deal” which sends chills down my spine every single time. With its augmented and suspended chords, it’s enough to be awed by its musical intelligence but then there’s the irresistible chorus and that piano hook. Lovely.
The wistful “Where Shall We Hang Elena”, the dynamic “I Don’t Know What to Do” and the pleasing orchestral title track are others to look out for but seriously folks, Don’t Be Mad At Me is one of those classic albums where just leaving it on and inspecting its treasures over and over again is highly recommended.
… still there’s more …